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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  December 7, 2015 8:00am-3:01pm EST

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traditionally, the theaters were sea, air and land, but now you see a war playing out on the internet, in banks and businesses around the world that are providing material and support for terrorism. we feel we try to help in those areas where we can operate which is social media and in the economic be world. >> host: well, mark wallace, in recent testimony before the house committee on oversight and government reform, you said isis' presence on social media is a cancer. >> guest: i think it is. you know, interesting, alberto and i both testified in that hear, and i think the opinions
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were unanimous about the incredible presence of isis and the reach that they've had. i was talking to a former foreign minister of italy, and we were -- i studied terrorism in college a long time ago, and we were talking about the terrorist groups of the '70s and even the '80s like the red army faction, action direct in france, and we were talking about the recruiting efforts of the red brigades in italy. and their efforts really focused on handing out pieces of paper, a flyer in an occasional café with red stars on the top. imagine if they had social media. what social media's done and the likes of isis and others, they can take their recruitment, and rather than handing out a flyer in discreet geographic locations, they can reach into internet cafés or computers, and they can reach young people around the world and neighborhoods close to where we're having this discussion today. that's a powerful difference.
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and i think that's what's happened is the terrorists and the recruiters have done a good job using this newfound technology. i think government and ngos -- and i'd love to hear alberto's thoughts on this -- i think we've been slow to catch up with them and now, hankfully, i think -- thankfully, i think you see the efforts of us and others and governments now trying to confront this new theater of terrorist warfare. >> host: well, ambassador fernandez, what are your thoughts about that? >> guest: well, terrorists have always used media, and the terrorist use of propaganda is actually not that new. they've always used whatever the tool that was available to at te time they appropriated. you may remember in the old days when al-qaeda first started, al-qaeda tried to open an office in london to put out its media, a media office in london. later on it latched on to the
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phenomena of pan-arab broadcast media. that was the thing in the 1990s. but there's terrorist media, and then there's the propaganda of the islamic state. the isis brand, the isis way of doing media is revolutionary compared to that of other terrorist groups. a lot of the message is not new, it's repackaged, it's given a shiny gloss, but the way that they're doing it is something which actually other terrorist groups have not been able to do in that full way that the islamic state does. >> host: well, in your testimony, alberto fernandez, you said in the narrow space we are talking about, the good guys are heavily outnumbered. >> guest: yes. you know, if you look at the world, most people in the world condemn the islamic state, right? you know, most newspapers -- there aren't any newspapers or television stations or a lot of public leaders that stand up in the world, muslim or non-muslim,
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and say we like those guys. so if you look at the world, if you hook at the production of -- if you look at the production of media world wild, hollywood, madison avenue, there's no doubt there's more of us than there are of them. but you look at the narrow space where people are searching for this type of stuff in this subworld, this subculture, so in this niche, they radically outnumber everyone else who's sending a different message, a counterterrorism message. >> host: what is the middle east research institute? >> guest: we are the pioneer and the leader in presenting the reality of the middle east to western audiences in the voices and words of the people of the region. so we work and we focus on issues such as terrorism, such as radicalization, such as reform in the arab and muslim world. in arabic, in farsi, in turkish,
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in urdu, and producing the tools, the' information for people -- the key information, what exactly is being said in their own words. people say one thing in arabic, and they'll say one thing in visiting to the -- english to the visiting foreigner. so we try to present that reality as quickly and as accurately as possible. >> host: and a little bit more from your testimony at the house oversight and government reform committee. we need to recognize that just like extremists have flourished in the ungoverned corners of the world, waziristan, somalia, northern mali, etc., they have also taken advantage of the mostly ungoverned space existing in social media. what is that ungoverned space? >> guest: well, there is -- and it's a good thing, we all know it and appreciate it -- there is an inherent you can say libertarian default position when it comes to social media. let a thousand flowers brook,
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right? some of -- bloom, right? some of those flowers are poisonous to. this is what they take advantage of. they take advantage of rules of service, of, you know, of technical means, technical space that companies, social media companies provide, and they use it to basically as a weapon against us and against, obviously, to radicalize people. >> host: mark wallace, two questions. has isis and other terrorist groups been effective in their use of social media in your view? and do the service providers have a responsibility, in your view? >> guest: no. and building on what alberto said, i think that you're seeing the collision between new technology -- it's really not that new anymore. i've joked with alberto in the pennsylvania that some people think -- in the past that some people think there's a right to tweet in the constitution. last time i checked, there's no reference to tweeting in the constitution. but, obviously, there's a right to free speech.
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and we've talked about before how the parameters of free speech in the united states and other places are fundamental to our society. but we really don't have free speech. we regulate speech in a lot of different ways. we conclude as a society that certain types of speech should be prohibited. for example, if you were engaging in, god forbid, in child pornography or the stalking of women online, on twitter, that speech would immediately come down, you would be prosecuted, and the speech would immediately come down. i think those who are blindly asserting that there's some sort of say red right of engaging -- sacred right of engaging in social media, of engaging in texting or like are overlooking the fact that we have the right of speech, and we thoughtfully regulate that speech in a manner, in a variety of different ways. and i think we have to have that debate when it comes to terrorism. i think finally you starting to see some progress from the likes
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of twitter who finally acknowledged they've had a problem where terrorists have appropriated their tremendous platform. these technologies are obviously incredible, wonderful platforms, but they shouldn't be appropriated by terrorists or weaponized by terrorists to do their businessing, whatever it may be. i think that they have been successful. you've seen them reach in. the reason why alberto has described them as the most successful terrorist group in history that's used this technology is that their life blood other than money and oil, which they've sold for money, has been foreign fighters. and the way they are reaching those foreign fighters is by a very systematic recruitment effort around the world, recruiting foreign fight earth to their shores. i think that -- fighters to their shores. i think the problem is twofold. we have to sort of craft messages and understand where
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they're coming from. i think the problem is twofold. we have to deny them the ability of that propaganda, meaning we have to take down as many of these accounts as we can. there was a game when we were, when i was young called whack-a-mole where you would hit a puppet, and it would pop up somewhere else. when you take down a social media account used by a terrorist, when they come back, if they do come back and hopefully you take them down again, they have fewer followers meaning they're heads effective. -- less effective. so we have to systematically take down these accounts and try to identify and craft mentions and understand what resonates amongst these vulnerable communities so that we advocate messages that discourage those that would join the jihad and that would seek to go fight in syria or, god forbid be, commit a terror attack here in the united states or any other country. >> host: alberto fernandez, do you agree with mark wallace that there is a responsibility on the part of some of these service providers and that these sites should be taken down?
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>> guest: look, at the very least there needs to be a conversation, and that conversation hasn't occurred yet. it seems to me that's a common sense first step. we in january of this year had an op-ed in "forbes" magazine basically saying that, you know, that the social media space is being abused. even the terms of service of these companies are being abused by terrorists. and at the very least, there should be a discussion about it so, yes, i agree with that. >> host: mark wallace, back to your testimony. you say that the sad truth is that extremists have been more agile, aggressive and insidious in their use of social media last forms than -- platforms than government and the private sector have been in tracking them. >> guest: historically, i believe that is absolutely true. and poor alberto has been on the front lines of this stuff in underfunded state department offices. now you're seeing a lot of attention being paid.
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frankly, this discussion reflects the interest in that area. you see the strange bedfellows from the likes of anonymous to ghost sect to our friend jan berger to alberto's team to the state department, a variety of people coming at this from different places trying to catch up to both take down these accounts, minimize their reach, hold people accountable but also identify messaging that sends back a message that isis isn't an idea or a path for responsible, good people to pursue and that if a vulnerable young person in the united states or europe is attracted to this, that they're -- we have to deal with that and turn them away, divert them into are rehabilitation and the like. i think you're starting to see much more attention being paid to that area. and regrettably, it's the scene of a lot of these terror attacks, these sad stories of young people being recruited to
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go to syria to fight. many of them dying, and their families devastated. and terror attacks that have been recently in paris, lebanon and the like where we're starting to see the footprint of other locals that are radicalized or foreigners who come in and are radicalized and then commit home grown terror attacks in western countries. so i think it's incredibly important, and and now you're seeing, i think, a growing group trying to deal with the weaponization, if you will, of the internet. >> host: ambassador fernandez. >> guest: yeah, sure. those are all good steps, but they're all kind of, you know, basic steps. their use of media, the use of isis propaganda, the way they get it out, is revolutionary in the way they do it, the swarm, the network that they have. but what gives it real power, is
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something that mark mentioned, the narrative. it's the story that they tell. of it's a powerful story about the end of the world, about empowerment, about a rigid lifestyle and code that gives structure to people that are aimless. so, you know, we need to do all those technical steps of kind of making life more difficult for them. we need to get in their face. but we also need to answer them. there's lots of discussion about ways to produce a counternarrative, things to say back to them. a lot of them are a little silly, but there are some basic ideas that you can put out there that actually have been proven to be somewhat effective over time in kind of at least taking a little bit of air out of them. >> host: well, in your testimony, ambassador, you talk about isis messaging is mostly about a utopian, grievance-laden version of jihadist salafism,
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that it is presented in a wide range of tailored ways. many of these approaches are not particularly violence-filled. >> guest: yes. most isis videos are not violent. most of them are about state building, they're about a guy making pizza or somebody paving a pothole or giving money to a widow, that kind of stuff. also, you know, cutting off hands and stoning people to death, and that as well. the second largest category is also something that we kind of, are kind of used to, it's combat camera. second largest of isis stuff is battle footage. the good guys shooting in the air against the bad guys. the third category is the one that we all on to access about. it's the snuff videos, the fro testing violence -- grotesque violence. obviously, for people they want to recruit, it's not the weird, crazy, head-cutting stuff that we're used to which, of course, is not so weird.
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there's logic behind it as well. >> guest: well, let me just push back on one thing that alberto said, if i could. look, i agree with him about the counternarrative. you have counternarrative on one hand, and you have the technology of their ability to reach, meaning communicate via social media, and i believe we have to engage in both. i also believe counternarrative is in some ways trying to chase the unicorn at the end of the rainbow. so we have to be very, very careful. i think we have to do it, we have to be smart about it, but i think we'd be fooling ourselves to suggest that these perverse messages will not find some homes to resonate in no matter what we do on the counternarrative side. and that's why it has to be a combination of denying the insidious actors on the internet and social media who are trying to reach into these homes -- look, it's a poor analogy, but we've all been subject to telemarketers in our homes. and, you know, we've probably
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received calls from some poor young stockbroker selling some penny stock or somebody offering us the sale of a cruise, and we probably all, on this group, politely hang up. i always wonder who would answer and want to buy stocks from that very young stockbroker, but obviously it works. and they try messages across the board to different people. in some ways, and not minimizing the horror of what isis is about, that's what they are doing. they are trying different messageses as alberto described, and they will always find some small group of people that it will work in. i don't believe counternarrative will prevent hem from convincing someone that their cause is right or just. >> guest: well, it depends how you define counternarrative, i mean, you know, all too often people use that to mean kind of, you know, a warm cup of cocoa and a blanket. >> guest: that's right. >> guest: what i mean in counternarrative is what are
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things, excuse me, that are going to cut them town to size. -- down to size. the number one counternarrative against the islamic state is military victory. it's crushing them on the ground. it's them being shown as losers. a huge part of their narrative, when we talked about the things i mentioned, the state-building and the combat videos, those are related intimately to the v word, to victory. >> guest: that's right. >> guest: if you can show them as losers, if you can show them losing territory, retreating from cities, if you can show prisoners, if you can show elements of weakness, that is the most powerful narrative to be used against the islamic state. we forget that, you know, their own narrative is based on the real world, you know? they didn't talk about taking mosul, they took mosul, you know? so the most powerful narrative is the reality on the ground of showing them that they are not this god-ordered, perfect
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society, promised in islamic prophesy that everyone says that they are, that they're basically just a bunch of losers. yes, you're right, there are always going to be some people who are bitter dead-enders, you know? but we can certainly kind of pick a lot of the, a lot of the numbers way down if everyone sees them as the losers that they are. we're not quite there yet. we have a challenge that the physical state, the physical isis state is under a lot of military pressure, and it's slowly, all too slowly being kind of weakened. but the virtual state, the one that we're talking about, is still very healthy and very powerful and very aggressive. so we have to make the kind of, the reality of the physical state catch up to, you know, the shiny image that's presented in the propaganda. >> guest: alberto's right. and i fully agree with what he's said. i think we're very like-minded.
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but alberto also knows, again, using another comparison that is perilous to, but war on drugs, for example, became a proxy battle for idealogically-driven solutions. and i think there are some that would advocate, for example, there was a narrative at one point during the counterextremism debate that it was all about poverty. it's not all about above i. our friends at george washington university put out a wonderful, comprehensive report on american isis fighters. we also put out a variety of things on this subject. it is not the poor, vulnerable youth at all times. it's across the board. the age is different, they come from different backgrounds. but i think you find that because of ideological perspectives and the proxy battles of those ideological perspectives come into play, people want to superimpose their own ideological beliefs into the vast bucket that can be
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counternarrative. i wish everyone would describe it as alberto did. >> guest: ing it attracts a lot of weird, off wall things. a think there was one person that wrote promoting same-sex marriage was a way to defeat isis. there are a lot of exotic views of things. >> host: well, let's start with you, ambassador fernandez. how does your group monitor terrorist organizations in social media? and then the same question to you, mark wallace. >> guest: well, of course, we were kind of the pioneers in this, we were the leaders in this, and we still are. we don't monitor terrorists, we monitor it all. we monitor political speech, we monitor developments in the political, social fields. we look for interesting things that people are not aware of in the west, a large part of which is, obviously, the discourse of terrorists and extremists, whether isis or hamas or
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hezbollah or just kind of a crazed cleric who says the earth is flat and, you know, we need to cut the heads off of jews because, you know, that's what we want to do. so we kind of siphon it all. we look at it all, we produce it rapidly and provide analysis of what's going on in, you know, what are the political, intellectual trends in the region, what are the worrying things that are happening -- >> host: but how do you do it? >> guest: we have physical people, we do it old school. these are people that are on 24/7, they're across the world. we have people in washington, we have people in the middle east who know the language, who know it deeply, who are native speakers of the language who are looking. they're looking online, they're looking on twitter, they're looking on television, they're looking at terrorist videos and, you know, they're people who are steeped -- unfortunately -- steeped in this stuff. you see it, so you can put it in context. so we provide that context for people through our various sites
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online. >> host: ambassador wallace? >> guest: memory, by the way, does a great job, and they've been a resource for all of us. our focus has been exclusively, we certainly monitor news around the world and quite understand narratives, and memory is a great help in that, but our focus operationally has been very much the online phenomenon. so we have a team of people also many offices here in the states and in europe, brussels, london, berlin and the middle east where we try to monitor social media to map the networks of these propagandist recruiters and those that are calling to act. alberto used a very, i think, right word. he described these as networks. in fact, the community of these propagandists even though the numbers range, you see something like 90,000 tweets a day we've heard, 30-40,000 accounts in existence, it's obviously always changing, but the networks of
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those accounts and the architecture of those accounts is not nearly as vast. what we try to do is monitor them, understand where they are and identify who are the people behind this. and that's why i think -- so our focus has been very targeted on the social media aspect of this where we think much of the terrain as being played out, much of the recruitment is being played out. one of the things that we've seen in terms of recruitment of foreign fighters that twitter really became the gateway for people to be exposed to jihadi recruitment on behalf of isis. typically, they would go to some other social media platform, for example, ask fm where they could have a one-on-one conversation, ask ask questions, if you will, about what it would be like to join isis, and then proceed then to a secure messaging app where they can have a secure conversation discussing their own potential recruitment travel
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to syria. and then, frankly, plane tickets and a border crossing probably in turkey. >> host: well, but this goes again to the point of the service providers. if you call it secure, but somebody within that company knows what that conversation, that conversation is happening and knows what's in the conversation, is that correct? >> guest: you know, it depends, is the answer. i hate to give such a mealy-mouthed answer. the reality is i think they should know or should allow ores to know -- others to know. the social media weaponization is the first phenomena, and the other is the secure messaging of either phones or apps or the like that are out there where people feel that they have a right to have secure discussions. now, i think it's very, very important with due process, with appropriate warrants that law enforcement and others have access to those different types of platforms. and there's been a robust
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advocacy from the likes of the head of gchq to i think we've heard general clapper here and other intel heads suggesting that that secure messaging apps and that secure messaging devices are potentially a real bane of the security services. and their inability to track these potential terrorists or those that are being recruited. and you've seen some, frankly, insip bid one and serious comments -- insip bid and with unserious comments, and i think any of the executives that run those companies need to take a real hard look at what they're providing. they might be providing a great service to people, but there has to be a manner where we can thoughtfully and with appropriate due process insure that they are not being miscrude z to plan terrorist attacks or promote the travelover foreign fighters either to or from sire.
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>>. >> host: this brings up the issue of encryption which some of the tech companies are against, having that back door. >> guest: yeah, you know, i mean, we all realize what a boon and how useful social media is and all these apps and everything, but we do have a problem. there's an app and a site, telegram, for which memory did a very long report on. it's a german/russian service which is a very recent thing. and as things got more difficult for isis in relatively speaking in twitter, they moved to telegram. and there was a time when, you know, this is something in germany, right? the number one language on telegram was arabic because -- and it wasn't, you know, love letters in arabic, it was terrorists using it to get their material out. >> host: all right -- >> guest: i think that alberto misspoke slightly. it wasn't that telegram replaced
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twitter, twitter was the place where people were exposed to it. telegram was a secure messaging app, and in fact, one of the executives i was referring to who runs telegram, was that executive that referred to secure communications over safety and security, and we have to shut that down. and not allow communications that are secure at all costs. i think that's a bit unserious. but it's a chain. you should think of twitter as the funnel where people are initially exposed en masse. people then can go to secure messaging apps and arrange a variety of different things. so it's a chain of communications of different platforms. telegram was a key secure messaging app in germany, and we're hopeing, and we've seen some statements out of telegram that hopefully they can coa little -- do a little bit better. >> host: okay. mark wallace, what would you like to see the u.s. government and other foreign governments do to mitigate some of in this use of social media?
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>> guest: well, i think a starting point should be our current laws. our current laws related to terrorists and specially-designated nationals refer to the material support of terrorists. now, material support can mean a lot of different things. obviously, if you gave a kalashnikov rifle to a terrorist, you'd be giving them a weapon, and that clearly is material support. but how about a hunting knife? a hunting knife is, you know, a hunting knife except in the hands of an isis killer. that probably is material support. i think that we ought to have a robust discussion in the united states that these companies have, are now really on notice that their platforms are being abused. i think they have to put policies and procedures in place -- a lot of which we've proposed -- that limit and demise the ability of terrorists to use them as platforms. if they don't, i think we have to have a real robust discussion at some to point, do these
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platforms, do they become material support for these terrorist groups? i know there's some laws that are under consideration in congress regarding this. i think we have to have that debate. what does it mean? you can't just turn a blind eye if you're a social media company and say, oh, communication overall, we have a right to teat. that's unserious. i think industry needs to be part of the debate, and i think we have to have a robust discussion about what the appropriate limitations are about these communications. we're not there yet. hope my, we'll bet there -- hopefully, we'll get this with discussions like this. >> host: alberto fernandez. >> guest: i agree with all of that and, generally, i would add the biggest ten we can take to reduce this threat is to be more serious and more intense in our dismantling of the islamic state in its homeland. that's the best propaganda you can make. yes, we need to work on these things, and there's a larger issue of this jihadist ideology which is poison and which is rampant in parts of the muslim world. but the most important thing
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about this problem is, you know, have -- take raqqa from them, take mosul from them, reduce them to where they were in 2011, 2010 when, yes, they were still killing people and doing terrible things, but they didn't have a state, much less a state which is god's gift to knew hand -- humanity which is what they present it as. >> host: alberto fernandez, former u.s. ambassador to ec what to have y'all guinea. came to the u.s. as a refugee from cuba in 1959. mark wallace is the ceo of the counterextremism projects, former u.s. ambassador to the u.n., represent tive for u.n. management and reform. served as general counsel ott ins -- to the ins and to fema and senior adviser deputy campaign manager to george w. bush in 2004. gentlemen, thank you for being
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on "the communicators." >> guest: thank you. >> guest: thank you. >> and c-span2 live this morning in washington, d.c. for remarks by homeland security situation jeh johnson who will be coming to the podium in just a moment. he'll be talking about what's being done to protect the united states from terror and cyber attacks and to improve border security. he'll be speaking one-on-one with the executive editor of the online publication of defense one, kevin barron. introductions are underway, you're watching live coverage here on c-span2. >> and the fight against bad actors in cyberspace. thank you, mr. secretary, for your leadership and your service and for being here with us today. i look forward to the conversation. >> thank you so much, amy and nathan. and now it's my pleasure to kick off our program and introduce e you to our speaker, secretary jeh johnson. jeh johnson was sworn in as the
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fourth secretary of homeland security. prior to joining dhs, secretary johnson served as general counsel for the department of defense where he was part of the senior management team and led the more than 10,000 military and civilian lawyers across the department. as general counsel of the defense department, secretary johnson oversaw the development of the legal aspects of many of our nation's counterterrorism policies, spearheaded reforms to the military commission system at guantanamo bay in 2009 and co-authored the 250-page report that paved the way for the don't ask -- the repeal of don't ask, don't tell in 2010. secretary johnson's career has included extensive service in national security, law enforcement and as an attorney in private practice, corporate law practice. he was general counsel of the department of air force from 1998-2001, and he served as an assistant u.s. attorney for the southern district of new york from 1989-1991. moderating our conversation is our very own kevin baer rob from defense one. kevin is executive editor of
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defense one, also the national security military analyst for nbc news and msnbc. kevin has covered the military, the pentagon, congress and politics for foreign policy, national journal and stars and stripes. he previously worked at the boston globe's washington bureau. he is also the former vice president of the pentagon press association. kevin, i'll turn it over to you. >> thank you, everybody. how about a round of applause for our introductions? [applause] good morning. >> morning. >> well, it's a bright monday -- >> at some point we'll get over how impressed we are that at one point in my time i led 10,000 lawyers -- [laughter] >> yes. >> somehow that's more impressive than leading 240,000 people at dhs. >> no objection to sending those 10,000 to syria.
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[laughter] >> i won't go there. >> i'm the son of a lawyer, i'm allowed to make that joke. >> okay. i didn't know you had a parent, by the way. [laughter] >> well, we joke. i'm not sure who gets more grief, the lawyer or the reporter in the family. so here we are, a lawyer and a reporter. well, we'll get right to it. we have about a half an hour. we'll have a good discussion, and there are a lot of folks in the audience, a nice bank of cameras here. i think there's been quite a few things in the news that have popped up long after we first scheduled this sit-down. so in our defense one leadership briefings, we like to talk about leadership and about management of the national security threat across the government, but we're also a news organization, so we've got a lot of things to hit on. i'll get right to it. first, we are in the weeks after paris, after california. secretary johnson -- [audio difficulty]
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>> kevin -- [inaudible] the terrorist threat that involves not just -- >> is that on? [audio difficulty] >> in this environment which involves a whole of government response which i hope to get to at some point, having or not having -- [audio difficulty] is not the end of the story. and we're dealing with the prospect of terror attacks by someone who may be totally below our radar and who could act at a
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moment's notice. we replaced the color codes, the color bars with a system called the national threat advisory system which we have never used, because it depends upon a specific, credible threat to the homeland. i believe that in this environment we these to get beyond that -- we need to get beyond that and go to a new system that has an bear mediate -- intermediate level to it, is and i'll be announcing soon, hopefully, what our new system is that i think reflects the current environment and the current realities. >> why wait? nothing to report today? [laughter] >> look, we need a system that adequately informs the public at large not through news leaks of joint intelligence bulletins to law enforcement, not through leaks from anonymous government officials, but we need a system that informs public at large what we are seeing even the if
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what we are seeing could be self-evident to the public. but what we are seeing, what we are doing about it and what we are asking the public to do. the ntas system is intended to do that, but it has this trigger that's a pretty high bar which is why we've never used it. and i believe that we need to do a better job of informing the public at large of what we are seeing, removing some of thely about the global terrorist threat and what we are doing about it and what we're asking the public to do. so i'm hoping that i will announce this in full in the coming days. >> well, you know, what you're describing involves the difference between a credible threat versus -- that is known, that's imminent, versus, i guess, what california was. by all indications, this was not known, this was not on anyone's watch list. this is, you know, the bigger fear. would, you know, would activating that system in any way have prevented this, or are there other threats out there right now that you think something -- not threats, i should say, is there a scenario
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where having that system would be helpful? it's holiday season -- >> well, since paris we've, in effect, been in a heightened security posture. and what we've said is there's no specific, credible intelligence of a paris-like attack on the homeland, but we are concerned about copycat acts, we are concerned about terrorist-inspired acts by lone wolfs. that was true last week, it was true the week before, and it's true now. a year ago, i'll give you an example of what i'm talking about. a year ago last october after ottawa, i issued a statement that said here's what we're seeing, here's what we're doing about it. and the reasons for this should be self-evident to the public. a, the attack in ottawa on the parliament building and the war merle and, b, isil's call for attacks on western objectives.
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you put those two things together, it is an environment in which we should inform the public, and we should outline the things that we are doing. and that's what i did in a statement in october 2014, and i think we need to do more of that kind of thing, and that's what i'd like to see us use our ntas for. >> talk about the preparedness for exactly what you said, the difference between terrorism-inspired attacks versus loan wolf a-- lone wolf attacks. aye said and we were talking backstage, california seems the perfect marriage of a terrorism-own spired attack, of pokes who had been -- folks who had been to the region, some mention of home grown, but also an old-fashioned workplace shooting. they didn't go after the capitol building, try to set up a bomb at a stadium. the big terrorism fears that i think the public think thinks at when they think about a paris. does that change? or does the u.s. government
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agency, is it prepared for all of these hybrid scenarios that are coming? and what comes next? what are your bigger fears? is it really the bomb in times square, or is it more of these? a suburban health care clinic? >> first, the pbi-led -- fbi-led investigation is still ongoing. i hesitate to categorize san bernardino just yet. but in this new environment, we've, we are doing, we're evaluating things that we could do, and i want to give you a sense of the things that we're doing in the future. first, obviously, we're bombing them in iraq and syria. we are training and equipping brown forces in iraq and syria as the president laid out last night. our fbi, our law enforcement in this country, in my judgment, does a very good job of detecting, investigating,
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interdicting terrorist plots, prosecuting terrorist plots. we continue to do that. jim comey is very, very focused on his counterterrorism mission in the fbi. they've gone back, as jim laid out, and focused on a bunch of cases domestically in light of paris. we have in dhs and with the fbi done, since i've been secretary, a much more elaborate job of interacting with state and local law enforcement about threats that we see on a national and international level so that hoping police -- local police departments know what the global terrorist threat looks like to us. we do that almost weekly if not daily in joint intelligence bulletins and otherwise. we've enhanced our presence at federal office buildings around the country, the federal protective service. that's something i ordered a year ago. we have enhanced aviation security at last point of
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departure airports. we started that a year ago. i issued guidance -- [audio difficulty] airport security, personnel working at airports -- >> [inaudible] >> actually, we took steps in april for the perimeter of airport security inside airports when it comes to airport employees. [audio difficulty] and within last year -- [inaudible] there are thousands of --
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[audio difficulty] beginning last year we have an electronic system -- [audio difficulty] congress is now involved. we've been working with congress to come up with mart legislation to put teeth into those security enhancements. we're looking at where many could be necessary. and the reason for doing it and why i think this is so important is that we're encouraging european countries to do more about their own internal security when it comes to
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travel. we have advanced passenger information and passenger name recognition data. and we are encouraging these countries in our visa waiver program to make more use of this, to make more use of the interpol stolen passport database, to make more use of federal air marshals on our flight. and the visa waiver program is a way to do that. and congress is actively considering legislation to help with this. i think that is a good, good -- the public has a role. if you see something, say something is more than a slogan. but specifically, since last year, since i've been with secretary we haven't had what we refer to inside the beltway here as our cve efforts, countering violent extremism. i have personally gone to muslim communities across this country in a number of different major
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metropolitan areas. i'm doing one again today at 4:00 in northern virginia where i will meet and have a public event with muslim leaders about their communities and the u.s. government, state, local law enforcement working together. given the nature of recordist-inspired attacks domestically, this is something that we've got to be focused on, and we're going to continue to work at this. >> before we go back, you mentioned europe. you're heading out that way. what is your -- [inaudible] >> guest: matter of fact, tomorrow night -- [audio difficulty] with my minister from europe, more information sharing about the travel of individuals of suspicion, more for them internally, awareness of people who are traveling in and out of
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their borders, more information sharing when it comes to people who are traveling to united states. more security measures that we need to share domestically in the united states when it comes to domestic and international travel. given the nature of the islamic state, a large segment of their fighting force are foreign terrorist fighters who leave countries in europe and elsewhere, go to the hot spots and then eventually come back. we want to know and we need to know who those people are. >> well, then talk about that screening process. this is one of flashpoints in the american dialogue right now, is about refugees, about the entire muslim community as something to be watched or not to be watched. how after california or put it this way, why should the u.s. have faith in the system that you're in charge of when they couldn't screen this woman, this pair, much less the rest of the immigration population to come? or beyond that, a refugee wave
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that's been authorized to come to as well? this is a real fear of, you know, pretty much the entire left-right half of the country. why should there be any faith in in the system? >> well, first of all, one of the two attackers was a u.s. citizen, born in this country. the other, his wife, arrived here pursuant to a k-1 visa for fiancees. the refugee system, and as you heard from the president's address last night, he has ordered that department of state and the department of homeland security evaluate that specific process which we're going to do. it is something that involves the state department vetting and dhs vetting at a certain point. the refugee screening process is the most thorough, multilayered process for admission of anybody into our borders. on average it takes 18-24
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months. we have particular enhancements when it comes to screening of iraqi and syrian refugees for resettlement here. it is a thorough, thorough process. what we have identified is the visa waiver program where we have made security enhancements and we are making security enhancements because of this foreign terrorist fighter phenomenon. and i think that that's a god place more our -- a good place for our focus, our focus in the executive branch and in congress to enhance our own security. >> and does that better than cover the -- that doesn't cover the fiancee visa, does it? >> no, that's a different process -- >> right. >> -- a different set of vetting. and we are evaluating that particular process. >> so at this moment are you talking an immigration screening process to prevent another to person like woman coming through
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to launch a terrorist attack? >> well, look, that assumes -- and this investigation is still underway -- that there were flags that were raised or should have been raised in the process of her admission to the united states. and i am not prepared to say that, and i am not prepared to make that declaration. the investigation is still open. by what this entire wave of events does highlight is the need for a whole-of-government approach when it comes to terrorist-inspired attacks. a terrorist-inspired attack is one that you don't necessarily are a lot of advance notice of. our intelligence community has develop canned a pretty good -- developed a pretty good system for detecting overseas plots at their earliest stages. a terrorist-inspired attack domestically is a harder challenge. it could happen at a moment's notice with little or no notice
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which is why a whole-of-government approach, enhancing our law enforcement efforts and enhancing our efforts to counter violent extremism here in the homeland are becoming all the more important as well as public awareness and public vigilance. >> you know, i've heard you and director comey and others in your communities talk about the see something, say something aspect of this, asking americans if you sniff something out, if the hair on the back of your neck stands up, say something. which is, essentially, rat people out in some way. square that with -- >> i would disagree. >> well, i'm sure you would, that's why i said it that way, because, you know -- but square that with the rhetoric that we've heard. and as the secretary of homeland security, as the cabinet member who's in charge of seeing a lot more than americans see when we hear the country, i mean, before the shooting stopped, twitter already was just among the most -- those of us on twitter, the most divisive moments we've ever seen.
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ininstantly, people took to their political camps. pro-gun control, anti-gun control. pro-openness, openness toward muslims or shut the country down. it was incredibly divisive. in the middle of that atmosphere calling for americans to speak up if you think your brother-in-law might be suddenly in the back room a little too often -- >> look, if you see something, say something means say something about a pattern of behavior, a package that is in a suspicious place. see something, say something does not mean alert law enforcement to a personal profile of someone or a person's religion or skin color or clothing. it means awareness concerning suspicious behavior. in the current environment, answer cannot be to vilify all american muslims or to drive
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them into hiding in this country. now more than ever we need to work with the muslim community. and it's not just -- it's not a monolith. it is communities across the country to encourage them to help us help them if they see somebody traveling in the wrong direction, in the the wrong community. it is the case almost always that when someone has self-radicalized and is turning to violence, there is somebody else that sees the signs. and so we need to build bridges, build relationships with muslim communities across this country and not vilify them, not drive them in the exact opposite direction. i think that would be hugely counterproductive to our efforts which is why i'm doing this event today at 4:00. we need to send the message to the public at large and muslim
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communities that the answer to our homeland security efforts cannot be to vilify all muslim-americans and people because of their religion. the muslim religion is the second most populace relidge this the -- religion in the world. from multiple continents. and there's something like three million who live many this country. the overwhelming, above overwhelming majority of muslims from whatever continent, from whatever nationality are people of peace. and their community is being targeted by the islamic state. and is so we need to work with them to build bridges, to heighten awareness, to help them develop the message counter to isil. and i've been at this since i've been secretary, and i'm going to continue on this because it's becoming all the more important.
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>> so the other group that we were hearing about as extremist threat in the united states is conservative extremism or white extremism, depending on the label. there's a study out from the southern poverty law center. do you agree with the assertion that that is actually the bigger extremist threat in the united states? >> well, i wouldn't call it conservative extremism. i think that's very unfair to conservatives, actually. it's sick behavior, domestic terrorism of whatever stripe is sick behavior. and we've created in dhs an office for community partnerships that is focused on countering violent extremism of a domestic nature with a domestic agenda versus an international terrorist agenda as well.
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given the nature of some of the types of domestic terrorism like charleston, south carolina, that can be more challenging for dhs just given the nature of that specific attack. but it is the case that domestic extremism, domestic violent extremism of the type in charleston or oklahoma city, we just recently had the 20th anniversary of the bombing in oklahoma city, a huge challenge. it is something that we have to address, we have to be aware of, and we have to root out. >> yeah. but punditry wants you to say that's a bigger threat versus islamic terrorism, or the other one is the bigger threat. does that rhetoric matter to you? does that distinction matter to you? >> look, i try motto get bogged down in these -- not to get bogged down in these inside-the-beltway fights about terminology. the fact is when you're dealing
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with terrorist-inspired attacks, you have to work with communities that are being targeted by those who want to inspire people within those communities. you have to build those bridges. it is foolish to do otherwise. it is foolish in my view and counterproductive to vilify that very same community and strive them away from us. we have to work with them. and that is true in, you know, multiple different contexts whether you're talking about something inspired by al-qaeda, the islamic state or some other form of extremism. >> so a final gun control question, a cyber question, and then we'll get to the audience to see what we have left. gun control is the other flash moment right now, topic right now. >> yes. >> because of the shooting. again, before it's over already, the country takes immediate sides. and we've heard from the president several frustrating
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moments but no grand presentations or policy changes. what does this say in your mind that, where does gun control pit in the terrorism debate, number one, and number two, why should americans right now of all times agree or feel they should hand in their guns as a lot of advocates want when half the country, it seems, or at least a large portion, feels the complete opposite, and they feel it to their core that there's no way you're going to get rid of -- take my firearm away from me when the government can't protect us or i just don't trust them. whatever the reason is. >> two things. as a matter of common sense, as the president said last night, be somebody's on a no-fly list, why should it be the case that you're not allowed to fly but they can still buy a gun? that's a matter of common sense.
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gun control is not ap all or nothing -- an all or nothing proposition. i think that there are responsible measures that can be taken and should be taken that i know the congress and this administration have thought a lot about that don't mean and don't require taking guns away from responsible gun owners. there's a lot we can do in this space to better control the prevalence of guns in this society without taking guns away from responsible gun own ors. -- owners. and we ought to continue to make that effort. this is part of our problem. >> so what can we do? you said there's a lot. >> well, the administration, we have very specific proposals out will starting with what the president proposed last night which is if you're on a no-fly
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list, you should not be allowed to buy an assault rifle. >> my last question is dhs' -- >> not forget about cybersecurity, no. >> of course. i'm a technology reporter, so i just want to follow up on the opm hack. a lot of people probably in this room got the letter saying their information was compromise, their loved ones' information was compromised. >> i got mine last week. >> yeah? who did that hack again? [laughter] >> we have not publicly attributed the attack to anyone, as you know. there was a delegation of chinese here last week, a ministerial-level delegation for a dialogue with me and attorney general which is a follow-on to the president's dialogue in september -- >> there was going to be more cooperation in cyber. >> we talked about opm and a
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number of other things to encourage them to live up to what they signed on to on paper which is the five-point commitment to cybersecurity norms. ..
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>> keep it short or i will cut you off. we have a short time. >> thank you. my name is doreen. i'm a fellow, good morning, secretary. i wanted to ask a question -- >> congratulations. chose wisely. >> i wanted to ask about what you're doing for the future of the agency to include more young diverse people at uscis which i will be at and dhs to quit a cutting edge agency? >> congratulations on coming to workforce at dhs. there has never been a more important time to be involved in homeland security as part of the service to the nation. when i came to dhs i was surprised to see that after 12 years we were still very stovepipe in our component missions here and so we have set
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out on a strategic way through unity of effort which has been referred to, to, at headquarters, be more strategic about what each nation should be. and what each component's budget should be. so it's no longer just in receive mode for a budget proposal from each end of -- individual proposal, under this mini helicopters, this much cybersecurity. we are not giving them guidance much earlier in the budget cycle and any acquisition cycle about here's what we think we need looking across the broader dhs mission. with something a place called a joint requirements council for the purpose. we have embarked upon acquisition form. reform. my over all objective while undersecretary is to see our department function better as a business and a government agency. we been far to stovepipe 200 we need to move in that direction. one of the tangible things i've
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done in that regard is to create joint task forces dedicated to border security. when i got to dhs, i was rather stunned to learn that when it comes to border security we've got border patrol. we've got immigration enforcement. we got citizenship. we got citizenship and immigration services. we've got the coast guard, all working separately o on the respective missions when it comes to border security. wait a minute. let's coordinate this effort under the umbrella of a joint task force director in the southeast, the southwest and for investigations. we stood that up earlier this year and i think it's working well. we have a challenge right now in the southwest border. the numbers of apprehensions on our southwest border have been going up again. and so i'm meeting with my joint task force directors regularly to address this. >> you are talking they have
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been declining spent yes, that is a true. last year fy '15 we had the lowest number of apprehensions with the exception of one year since 1972. it was about 331,000. this year we have seen a steady increase beginning in about july. and in the last couple of days and weeks, that increase has gone up a little more sharply. and so -- >> do you know why? >> i hesitate, i see i have alicia's attention. she is not typing. i hesitate to draw cause and effect, but the numbers are, in fact, rising and we are in a process of addressing it and considering other things to address it. >> follow-up question. >> yes. >> one moment for the microphone. sorry. >> on the border of the numbers have risen steadily by 5000 in
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each group of families and children for a total of about 10,000 each month since july. mexico set up a number of checkpoints, people have been moving around is based on your in the report. what's the next step to curbing -- >> if they are truly internal report you wouldn't know about them. >> potato-potahto. [laughter] but it will have identified their moving around those checkpoints at the numbers are steady as you just said increasing now. ordinarily they are dropping precipitously and the stay rather flat through the winter. what's the next step though given the volume we had, about 40,000 in the last four to five months so what's the next step? >> we are evaluating what to do right now. we have continued a fairly aggressive public messaging campaign. i believe that more will be necessary. we have since last year focus
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our efforts on criminal smugglers. i believe more of that will be necessary. in the southwest. and w we're going to have to wok with hhs for the placement of uac's, now that the numbers of uac's are rising. we are in the midst of ratcheting up our efforts right now. considering what more could you. >> this gentleman right here in the front. >> thank you. thank you for your service and for what you are doing to keep this bit of a nation safe. i am from kabul, afghanistan, and graduate of georgetown and american universities. the threat to the united states, security threats are coming to the homeland from overseas. so it has external component to it. he rightly said you're engaging
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allied countries and europe such as england, but your policies short of actually widening that strategy got to go to countries where the greatest threats to the united states are coming from, like pakistan and saudi arabia. the california bomber suspects and the "new york times" square bomber suspect have links in pakistan. pakistan is actively harboring. these are the places -- >> your question? >> i was wondering are you engaging countries like pakistan to shut down the strain aground? and by the way, i am muslim and am from afghanistan and a love this country more than any other place on earth. thank you. >> thank you. let me say two things. first, engaging countries like pakistan, engaging countries in the arab world, let's not forget
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turkey also. turkey has got huge border problem. they've got syrian refugees, for example, in the seven digits. engaging those countries is not new. we've been doing that for some time. one of the things that i only did this for my original remarks. one of the things i want to do is put more preclearance capability at overseas airports where our customs officials are forward deployed at overseas airports screen people before they get on flights. we set up one in abu dhabi early last year. that is been very productive, very effective. we have 15 of these right now. we have prioritized setting a preclearance that 10 additional airports, pushing hard on the. i think that the current threat
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environment demonstrates the need for additional preclearan preclearance, but engaging these countries is not new. i have personally been to a lot of these places myself to do that spin i would david, where else would you like a preclearance? >> we have advanced screening of people before they get on flights at 15 locations, and as a result of that screening we are denied boarding for the number of people, including people getting on flights in abu dhabi spill direct to america flights speak with yes. and we need to do more of that. we are doing more of that right now. >> we are at the end of our time -- >> by the way it was mentioned that i co-authored the report the led to the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" the other co-author is sitting right over there, general carter ham. general, thank you for your service to the country. >> that's a good note.
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last week was the announcement of women in combat and i was a pentagon reporter. at the time of the "don't ask, don't tell" the repeal was remarkable moment. just like last week the -- >> almost exactly five years ago. >> okay. ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much for coming this morning to watch our live stream as well. a round of applause for the sector for giving us his time and insight. thank you, secretary johnson. [applause] [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> and later a discussion with intelligence experts on the u.s. government security clearance process. the wilson then host that even started life at 10 a.m. eastern on c-span. also did a remarks from house homeland security chair michael mccaul on the state of homeland security. to be speaking to an audience at
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the national defense university in washington, d.c. you can watch that life at 12:30 p.m. eastern on c-span2. both chambers of congress are in session today. than two weeks of work left before the christmas recess. house plans to spend a week working on 2016 government spending with current funding set to expire on friday. they will consider a bill to tighten that visa waiver program. you can watch the house on c-span. the senate is expected to vote at some point this week on an agreement with house on revise no child left and measure and they wanted to pass the government spending measure. you can follow the senate live here on c-span2. >> tonight on "the communicators," terrorism and the use of social media. will examine how social media is used by various terrorism groups to radicalized and recruit new members from around the world. we are joined by alberto fernandez, vice president of the middle east media research institute, and mark wallace, ceo
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of account extremism project. both recently testified at a house oversight committee hearing on radicalization, social media and the rise of terrorism. if you look at the production of media worldwide, if you look at hollywood, if look at madison avenue, there's no doubt there's more of us than there are of them. if you look at the narrow space where people are searching for this type of stuff in this type, the sub world, the subculture, so in this niche a radically outnumber everyone else singing a different message, a count of characters a message spirit i think we ought to have a robust discussion that these companies, are not really unnoticed that the platforms are being abused. i think have to put policies and procedures in place to a lot of which we proposed, that limit and deny the build of a terrorist to use produces
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platforms. i think we have a real robust discussion at some point, do these platforms can do that, to support for the terrorist group's? >> watch adjudicators tonight at 8 p.m. eastern on c-span2. >> all persons having business before the honorable the supreme court of the united states admonish draw near and give their attention. >> tonight on c-span's landmark cases will look at the case of baker v. carr, connectivity to decision that ruled federal courts could intercede in disputes over we apportionment of the trunk of a election district. chief justice earl warren called it the most important case of my tenure on the court. here's a portion of the actual oral arguments. >> these 10 voters lived in the largest cities in tennessee. they are the intended and actual victims of a statutory scheme which devalues, reduces their
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right to vote to about one 20th of the value of the vote have been to certain rural residents. >> by the early 20th century population shift in states like tennessee had a majority of voters from rural areas with into the city. yet those rural districts would now help voting power equal to the larger voting to should get a group from nashville, memphis and knoxville challenge the disparity and took their case all the way to the supreme court. the case of baker v. carr became a major milestone and has into irrelevance today as the term one person one vote is still being debated. joining us in the discussion, ted olson, and douglas smith. that's live tonight at nine eastern on c-span, c-span3 and c-span radio.
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for backup in each case what you want to order your copy of "landmark cases" companion book, available for $8.95 plus shipping at c-span.org/landmarkcases. >> next, look at the president's current counterterrorism strategy and whether it's enough to fight terror groups like isis enough qaeda and to keep them from harming the homeland. experts discuss the recent mass shooting in san bernardino at the dangers of online radicalization. it's one hour and a half. >> thank you all for coming. have about an hour and a half schedule for this event and so what i'd like each of our panelists to do is try to speak at length on their particular area and then we will have some time for question and discussion at the end. so if you have questions please keep those in mind.
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and win, i'll come back up after the panel has talked and then directed his people into we have microphones. if you wait for a microphone before you ask a question, if you just take your name and affiliation that would be great. hopefully we'll have plenty of time for a great desktop adobe so many things worth talking about. this is an event i have really wanted to do for a long time. when president obama first came into office, when asked me and other analysts about what was changing, we used to joke and say, it's kind of busch light. because in many ways in the first year or two of the frustration many of the instruments and practices that the obama administration used were in many ways almost virtually identical to what the bush administration doesn't except it looked pretty much the same. over the course of the first half of the present administration, i really think you saw the president put his stamp on how to combat transnational terrorism around
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the world with the withdrawal of troops from iraq, the way the search was shaped in afghanistan, publishing a new counterterrorism strategy, which i think isn't just a piece of paper. it very much reflects how the administration really sought to combat global transnational terrorism worldwide. when we analyze the document, we were actually quite critical and we said, to be blunt, we don't think this is going to work. we think transnational terrorism will be a bigger problem down the road than it is today. and so i've long wanted to bring together a panel of experts, not just to say, koch, who's right and who's wrong, but to really kind of honestly assess -- gotcha -- what is the state of the transactional terrorist threat today. is as long before this tragic shooting in san bernardino or the events in paris, but it so
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happens that this panel happens at a time when some very high profile events going on. this is a terrific panel, and what i like to do is very briefly introduce you to them in the order in which i'm going to ask them to speak, and then after they've each had an opportunity each to make some comments at length we will get into a broader discussion. so first is katharine gorka's, president of the threat college group as well as the council on global security from 2009-2014 she was exactly correct of the west minster institute which is the great work. both her and her husband who are i think recognize this if we two of the most thoughtful analysts. you do get synergy there when you bring people together like that. you get more. it's great to have her here. you may be familiar with different important but that she co-edited, fighting to ideological war. and she just had a recent research report out which got an
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enormous amount of press. we would ask her to talk about the domestic terrorist threat. obviously that's something that is on our mind after her, lisa kurdish who is our analysts here at the heritage foundation who covers south asia issues. south asia is a particularly important piece of the puzzle we think about the future of the transnational terrorist threat would be. lisa was remarkable analyst, not just because her analytical abilities but because she that long service in that part of the world that everybody knows what they're. when i go there take a look it's lisa and some guy with her. willie she is without question one of the most well-respected analysts not just you but really in the region in which this matters. people they're turned over to understand what's going on. jim phillips is also an analyst at heritage. he has the distinction of being the oldest analyst, not the oldest in years, but the
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longest-serving analyst here at heritage. he's not older than the middle east, but he has been studying the region for a great deal of time, and he is without question one of the most sought after and respected analysts, not just in the greater middle east including north africa. having bruce hoffman here is just a particular honor. i've been waiting to say this all day. bruce has been studying terrorism as long as i've known my fiancé, which is over four years in which says a lot about both of us i guess in terms of our perseverance and inability to conclude things. [laughter] truth in advertising. bruce is also my boss, the director for the strategic of center studies at georgetown university, which is what of the premier national security education programs, not just in washington but in the entire country. he that long service at rand where he is literally one of the most recognized experts in the world and just completed an
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important term as an independent commission that reviewed the workings of the fbi and how they have adapted to giddy with transnational terrorism and radicalization after 9/11. and so too happy near the kind of put a capstone on all of that is really, really important. and then to round out our panel we have sara carter. you have probably heard about the carter, tv character on marvel, maybe not. so this is the real carter. she goes to all the dangers parts of the world. she's one of the most effective and bravest investigative reporters you could ask for. so i asked her to come to really kind of boring kind of the first person narrative to this because they're going to talk about the trends that are going around the world. she's been out and seen how those trends of touch people on the ground i think that's an enormously important perspective so it's great to have her here.
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so having said that, i'm going to turn over to katie and we are going to take off and you can stay there or come up to the podium, whatever you want to do. join me in welcoming our panel. [applause] >> well, it's really a delight to be here. thank you, jim, for bringing us all together. i'm very happy to be here. i don't want to use my precious time to run through the proof that i this is a threat domestically. i think everybody in this audience knows that and doesn't need to be convinced of it. and if you still do, shameless self-promotion, we have written a report on it and i just suggest you go there. it's on a website, isis, the threat to the united states. will be argued there is isis has the means, the intent as well as the domestic supporters. i think san bernardino was evidence of that. so i'd like to actually leave
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that particular aspect of the argument aside for the moment and focus instead on three aspects of this conversation that i think need to be amplified, three ways to look at this, three issues to be thinking more about, and why we are having such a hard time with this. i'd like to start by recalling in 1972 olympics. most of you -- i'm trying to gauge at the age of the oddest actually a good number of you might remember this. the terrible attack on the israeli athletes. that the aspect of that event that i think is interesting for today's purpose is, i think this is largely forgotten today, the germans asked a forensic psychologist prior to the olympics to map out 26 potential terrorist scenarios.
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and george seaver was the man who was passed with this. he did it and, surprisingly, his scenario when one matched very closely to what ended up happening. and even though he was able to give to the german government these very scenarios, and they had even asked for it, they still did not act on it. why did they not act on this information when they knew there might be a very real threat to some of the members of the, some of the participants in the olympics? and the reason was, if you remember, germany was tried to get over the terrible image of the 1936 olympics. so these were supposed to be the happy games, a carefree games. and so they did not heed any of the warnings of a psychologist that he had employed. and in a sense they politicized the threat assessment. and i would argue we are doing the very same thing today.
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we have really downplayed the nature of this threat for political reasons. and i think, i mean, you can trace back to all, you know, various points in time, but for me a particularly important turning point in this process was the fall of 2011 when the administration sent out a directive both to the department of justice as well as to department of defense, saying all counterterrorism training needed to be reviewed, all the slides had to be reviewed and other counterterrorism trainers themselves had to be scrutinized. many of the people who spent their careers, or at least a good decade if not longer studying this threat, were then henceforth forbidden from training further. and a series consumer lost many of our best experts on the topic.
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and processes were implemented. so, for example, now if you want to go in and trained the fbi on terrorism, your slides have to be scrutinized by an anonymous reviewer. we don't know their expertise. some of the people, people for presenting the training our ph.d's. they are people who have been studying this for their entire careers come and get the acting challenge on the content of what they are training for political reasons. why does it matter? well, i think most importantly it's because it has left our law enforcement and prepared for the threat that we are now facing. so because this administration has downplayed the seriousness of this threat, both abroad which probably you hear more about from the other panelists, and that is going to focus on the domestic threat, our law enforcement has not been adequately trained. so we have two issues. on the one hand, the narrative has been put up at the real
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threat is from right wing extremism. so that if you look at surveys of law enforcement and if you had asked them probably is not true anymore but if you'd asked in a year ago, there were surveys where law enforcement would say their biggest concern was right wing extremism. in a sense that's what they've been told. to our law enforcement is not prepared today to face the threat that we are facing. that's a disservice to them and to the american people. one last piece of this i would just mention is the department of justice, much of the trading that they've been carried out, rather than focus on the nature of the threat, they are focusing on protection of civil rights. they are so concerned about people not being offended that this is what they're going out and training on, not the seriousness or the nature of the threat. so i would say, my first message is, we need to stop downplaying, stop politicizing the threat. my second is, and i'm so glad to
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hear this coming up all day today on the news, let's stop focusing on the reasons why people engage in terrorism. did anybody ever once asked why does a person become a white supremacist? did we ever ask why does a person become a nazi? it's ludicrous. we didn't ask that question. we didn't care about that question. what we knew was that they were engaging something that was evil, and we had to condemn it, and we had to stop it. and it's really, that seems like such a simple thing to say, but it's really actually a deeply complicated problem, and i think it's good to be a very difficult one for us to tackle. and the reason for that, in a sense, goes back to munich. after that terrible attack in
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1972, and as well as a general rise in terrorism can't even remember there was, you know, the wave of hijackings. many hijackings into cuba in the '60s and subsequent hijackings, it was just a very sharp rise in terrorism and the 1960s and 1970s. and so people are naturally started asking the question, why do people engage in terrorism? i think there was the hope of a thought or the desire that there may be some psychological explanation. you know, these people are committed, they have been abused by their fathers, they been abandoned by their mother's. there were a lot of theories, all of which have really subsequently been disproved. so that that angle of inquiry, is the psychology of terrorism, really has not yielded anything useful. and an equally i think
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frustrating has been there was the desire to pursue the question, but also the sociology of terrorism. innocent as has become more prevalent in the last two decades. there came a period in the 1980s when are people who were sort of working on a social movement theory started saying, what if we apply social movement theory to islam radicalism? and became islamic activism. and again the focus was, let's look for causes, let's look for upstream causes, why do people engage in terrorism. you're hearing, i mean, this is all we've been hearing for the last couple of days, what is it about this couple that they did this thing? is because the guys mother and father, that he had an abusive father, a mother who was in a relationship with an alcoholic? it really doesn't matter. and i think the problem with that line of inquiry is, it takes a sense of judgment away
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from what they are doing to it's like we're looking for justification, and innocent we are almost turned them into victims. if you think about the very term, for someone to be radicalized, it's like something has been done to them, right? there's no free will, no agency in the edit think it's really the wrong way to look at it and it's leading us down the wrong path, if not instructive for law enforcement or it's a good help us stop the terrorism together like to see us get away from that. lastly, we need to think a lot harder about the ideology. and that's what we are not doing. again, by focusing on things like the psychology of terrorism or these upstream factors, the sociology of terrorism, what we're doing is we're not talking about the ideology that's driving people into terrorism. was so interesting is, if you look at the different cases, so, for example, our study focuses
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on the cases in the united states since march 2014 as people have been interdicted by law enforcement or our study is broader than most others. most other people focus on just the arrest. hours of the people of been interdicted our law enforcement so that means there are fort hood been killed, seven unnamed minors as well as those have actually been arrested. and there's another study that has been done that kind of goes through each individual case, if the conclusion is every case is different. right? every case, the motivations are very different. somebody was looking for love. someone else is anchored somewhere else feels disenfranchised. so you're not going to find broad constituency but the common out the album is the ideology that places is perpetrating. it's one of the areas we really
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neglected. it's one of the areas that i feel law enforcement is feeling very frustrated by because they are not being allowed right now to go after the ideologues. we have people in this country that are really, i mean, we have both isis recruiters but more importantly we have people who are promoting the ideas that justify what isis and other islamist groups are doing. we need to pay more attention to that. lastly i just want to say it's important to remember that what's going on now, that the terrorism that's going on now in this country, this is war. this is not crime. they are are very different things that we have to keep sight of that. warfare cannot be an extreme tool of private parties. that was one of, i mean, if not the paramount achievement of
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western civilization. is that warfare became a legal instrument. it became part of the coercive power of law itself, and that's a we brought an end to all the private wars of the dark ages. it's incredibly important we not talking about his broader sort of moral dimension to what's going on. terrorism, the act of terrorism that article in the world, but especially i would say the act t of terrorism inspire the ice is going on in this country are a direct assault on these achievements of our civilization. and they will threaten to disrupt a lot, and it's not merely that it's a terrible thing for innocent victims. but it's the broader construct of our civilization and state control of our that's at risk.
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i think we need to be having this broader conversation about how important it is that we recognize the seriousness of these threats and these attacks that are going on in our country. i didn't mean to end on such a serious note, but there you have it. thank you. [applause] >> hello. thank you for coming today. thank you, jim, for your nice introduction. so i just want to emphasize what jim opened with, which is about four and half years ago after the elimination of osama bin laden what we saw is the obama administration start to downplay the international terrorist threat, and we saw the administration used the elimination of osama bin laden to justify a u.s. troop drawdown
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in afghanistan. in 2013 president obama referred to al-qaeda's leadership is on the path to defeat. well, around the same time in august 2011, the heritage foundation released the report, counterterrorism, the next wave. and in that report we warned against underplaying the international terrorist threat that continue to threaten our country. and we argued against under resourcing efforts to fight the threat. and we noted that despite the fact that our drone strikes had degraded al-qaeda's leadership in pakistan's tribal border areas, al-qaeda was adapting to the threat and they were beginning to spread their deadly ideology through affiliated and associated organizations throughout the middle east and north africa. and today al-qaeda and isis control more territory in this region than they have at any other time in history.
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so i'm going to talk about the terrorism threats that emanate from south asia. so let me start with afghanistan. so the afghan security forces still require u.s. and nato support to fight the taliban. they require our training, our battlefield advice, our intelligence, and especially our air support. and i think that became evident when the taliban was able to overtake the city of konduz in northern afghanistan for two weeks in september. i think it was that takeover of konduz which finally convinced president obama that he needed to extend the u.s. troop presence in afghanistan beyond 2016. and he committed in mid-october to leaving 5500 troops in afghanistan when he departs office in january 2017. now this is a welcome step but, frankly, it would've been better
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if it simply would've said we are keeping the 9800 troops that are there now, we will reassess the ground situation next year. it would've been better if he would have dropped all arbitrary deadlines for withdrawal. but, admittedly, it was a step in the right direction. so one of the most important things that is happening in afghanistan right now is the leadership crisis in the taliban. and i think the u.s. should take advantage of these splits. some people would argue that it's easier to negotiate with a unified taliban, but i would argue that while it may make it more difficult in the short run to negotiate with a fracturing taliban, over the longer term, a fractured taliban is a weakenedd taliban and they will pose less of a threat to the u.s., nato and afghan forces. to what's been happening? taliban leader has rejected the
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leadership of mansoor who was made the successor to omar when it was announced that he'd been dead for two years. and what he is saying is that they were suspicious circumstances surrounding the death of mullah omar and he thinks that monsoon were is lying about the circumstances of the death even accusing them of murdering mullah omar. and he accuses him of being too close to pakistan's intelligence service. social to making himself out to be more patriotic and not cooperating with a foreign intelligence service. so fighting has broken out. some reports say that 100 people have been killed in this inviting, the factional fighting between the taliban factions. there have even been reports
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that mansour may have been wounded or even killed just this week during a shootout among the different taliban factions. the taliban is the night is a we have to see what in fact is happening. but what is clear is that our problems within the taliban a great deal of factual invited to isis is taking advantage of this. just like and see where we see al-nusra al-qaeda's affiliated al-nusra fighting isis, we are starting to see isis elements fighting taliban. isis has been able to establish some presence, particularly in eastern non-to our province as though some pockets of influence in another province. some of his admin are disgruntled taliban or rebranding themselves, or
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pakistani committee taliban pakistan which have fled the fighting from the pakistan military operations in north waziristan. but clearly isis has its sights on afghanistan and is seeking to make inroads there. so this started back in january when isis launched what it calls the khorasan group in south asia. that's what it is called itself in south asia. this is actually an islamic historical term for the area that encompasses afghanistan, what is now afghanistan and the bordering states of afghanistan. and according to the sayings of the prophet mother, south central asia maintains a key role in establishing a global caliphate. and husain haqqani, ambassador who was the pakistan ambassador to the u.s. at a prominent writer on development in this part of the world has written about how one refers to a battle
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of india, and this is the final battle between muslims and non-muslims which would occur before the end times. and furthermore another hadith says an army with black flags will emerge from khorasan to help the redeemer of islam establish the caliphate at mecca. to isis is using these references into hadith to recruit in south asia and to justify its presence there. but isis faces obstacles in afghanistan and pakistan. al-qaeda and taliban are well established in this region. the al-qaeda leader has nurtured al-qaeda's relationship with the taliban. he has pledged allegiance to the successor leader. that are deadly obstacles in the
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long-term for isis to make serious inroads in this region. but in order to fend off this isis enrichment, zomba here it is also seeking inroads in other parts of south asia. in september 2014 zawahiri with seen in a video announcing the launch of al-qaeda in the indian subcontinent. and in this video he assures muslims in bangladesh, india and burma that, oh, the organization did not forget you, and that they're doing what they can to rescue you from in justice, oppression, persecution and suffering. and recent series of attacks in bangladesh has raised fear that indeed international terrorists they be making inroads into the country. there was an attack in late september on an italian aid worker. five days later a japanese agricultural worker in northern
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bangladesh was gunned down. and is followed horrific machete attacks on five secular bloggers in bangladesh since the beginning of the year. another indication that isis is trying to make inroads into bangladesh was the publishing of a five page article in its flagship magazine called the revival of jihad in bengal. said during congressional testimony that i've given in april, i warned that the political turmoil in bangladesh threatened to derail the social and economic gains that country has made over the last decade, and that islamist extremists could take advantage of the increased political polarization of there. i think this is what we are saying play out. while these extremist attacks are happening in bangladesh, the government is executing its
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political opponents. it's doing this through a war crimes tribunal process that has been criticized by the international community for flaws in the way these trials are being carried out. so while we've seen a reduction in political violence more recently in bangladesh, there has been no resolution to the problems of there. and these really go back to the january 2014 elections where the current prime minister moved forward with elections despite the fact that the opposition boycotted them, and half the seats in the parliament went uncontested. so bangladesh, this country that we have previously held up as a model muslim majority democracy, having made important social and economic gains over the last decade, now i think, you know, we are worried that it could become the next hotbed for terrorism and extremism. so i think it's early deserves
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more u.s. attention. i would like to see the u.s. become more assertive and encouraging a medical dialogue between the current government and the political opposition. so that we can avoid this situation. so i will just stop there. thank you very much. [applause] >> i think i would just speak from your. i would like to focus my remarks on isis, the islamic state in iraq and syria. by mic is on. can you hear okay? okay. isis is now primarily a regional threat that it is the test as i see rapidly and extending tentacles, and soon could become a long-term global threat if it's allowed to consolidate its power and to control over territory. i would argue that isis in the long run poses a greater
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potential threat than the al-qaeda core group presently hunkered down intertribal badlands of pakistan and afghanistan, for at least three reasons. first, it's lodged in the heart of the arab world unlike the al-qaeda core group which is kind of the back of the beyond, the french. that's important because both al-qaeda and isis are primarily arab organizations, and their short-term targets are the arab states. and this control the territory, a little smaller than maryland, enables isis to attract, recruit and train not only arabs from the surrounding area but muslim militants from europe and even the united states. this makes it, although it hasn't staged the kind of terrorist attacks that
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al-qaeda has in the past, i think as soon could surpass and eclipse al-qaeda on that front. secondly, isis is the richest terrorist group in the world, or it's been called that. it's turf is located in close proximity to enormous oil resources, primarily in eastern syria, but also some in iraq. it was estimated at its height to be making about $3 million in oil smuggling profits a day. this amounted to more than $1 billion a year at its peak in mid-2014. now it's believed to be reduced to roughly less than half of that. according to u.s. intelligence, official site in the "new york times" on sunday, the oil revenues are now approximately $500 million a year, but more importantly, it makes roughly up to $909 a year through its control over people --
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900 million -- people, property and economic life in western iraq in eastern syria. it taxes individuals and businesses, farmers, crops, livestock. it collects rent from government buildings and collects payments for utilities. it has eluded banks, confiscated the property of religious minorities that it despises, and also sunnis that opposed its harsh rule. gets kidnapped hostages and collected millions in ransom, enslaved you see these women and sold them as sex slaves. smuggled out archaeological artifacts that advances. it even imposes fines for traffic violations for smoking and for bad dressing.
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the islamic state, i would argue, has an economic model very similar to the mafia. it is essentially a protection racket. that shouldn't be surprising that its founder zarqawi was converted to islamist extremism in a jordanian prison where he was a gang enforcer, and that his islamic movement has recruited of the criminal networks and recruited in prisons, not only in iraq, where camp bucca one of the current leaders, baghdad the was in camp booker, the u.s. prison. and now we know from the terrorist attacks that isis has recruited among criminal networks in france and belgium. and, indeed, presents historic would have been an important factor for the spreading of islamist extremists, extremism in many countries, including our
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own. that's something that needs to be watched. thirdly, the islamic state has great of religious appeal that al-qaeda. last year to proclaim the caliphate. that means that claims to be not just an islamic state, but the islamic state was founded by the prophet muhammed. this dubious claim has triggered a backlash among sunni religious and political leaders, islamic scholars that scoff at it. and even from al-qaeda, from which it has drifted away. but this claim of religious legitimacy, as flawed as it is, has helped to attract and recruit followers among impressionable young muslims. more than 30,000 supporters from over 100 countries have flocked to the so-called caliphate. its leader, al-baghdadi, represents a new generation of
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leadership who claims more religious credentials than previous al-qaeda leaders, including descent from the prophet mohammed. he's charismatic, mysterious and able to excite the imagination's of young muslims. he has far more popular appeal then i'm also worried who replaced bin laden as the leader of the al-qaeda old guard and his messages and provide by sophisticated propaganda operation mounted on many social media platforms that particularly of you too young people, specifically young muslims in the west. like osama bin laden, he seeks to transform what essentially is a clash within th islamic civilization into a clash of civilizations. islam against the west with him leaving as the champion of islam.
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baghdadi fashions himself not only as the successor to bin laden, but also the successor of the prophet mohammed. and he is renamed himself be bringing. this potent combination of islamist ideology back to enormous economic resources has made it a magnet for foreign fighters and enable isis to these on the corpses of failed and failing states. not just in iraq and syria, but it has spread and has claimed the allegiance of pre-existing islamist groups in libya, egypt, yemen, jordan, lebanon, saudi arabia, and afghanistan and pakistan. even boko haram in nigeria has pledged allegiance. today isis, al-qaeda and its affiliated organizations demand more terrorists and control more
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territory in the middle east and north africa and around the world than ever before. the u.s. policy response, unfortunately, has been too little, too late. from the beginning the obama administration misunderstood and underestimated the threat posed by al-qaeda and its isis offshoot in iraq. president obama allowed short-term political considerations to trump long-term national security interests when he abruptly ended the u.s. military presence in iraq in december of 2011. that deprive the iraqi government of intelligence, military training, counterterrorism, surveillance and reconnaissance assets that about isis to grow in a much more permissive environment. the administration downplayed the threat of isis last year with the president famously telling a new yorker reported that isis was the jv team. after this complacent distinguished exposed as wishful
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thinking went isis took mosul iraq's second largest city in june 2014, the white house reacted slowly and reluctantly with a series of half measures that were carried out in a piecemeal fashion. it initially commit a few hundred military advisers to support iraqi security forces and retrain the shattered iraqi army. graduate, it's increase the number of these advisers to about 3500, but the overall effort to combat isis remains underresourced. this ad hoc incremental approach is the way to win a war. it didn't work in vietnam and it is not working in iraq and syria today. the administration also was launched a limited air campaign that has proceeded at a leisurely pace with up to three quarters of u.s. warplanes at one point returning to base without dropping their bombs because of tight restrictions on
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targeting. also a lack of reconnaissance and surveillance capabilities. the administration's lack of a sense of urgency has been breathtaking. the president even proclaimed that isis was contained the day before the paris terrorist attacks. it's all the more disturbing because the long string of isis victories has given it an aura of invincibility, and attracted a steady stream of foreign fighters who boost its strength by about 1000 fighters each month. this is why the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, general dunford, admitted earlier this week at a congressional hearing that isis has not yet been contained. this is a conflict against a global islamist insurgency, ending the kind of the conflict, if you're not winning, you are losing. and we are not winning. the white house needs to
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reconsider its incremental half measures in iraq and devise, implement a coherent strategy that would more effectively match ends and means in the struggle against isis. so far it's barred combat operations, or initially it barred combat operations by american ground troops, drag its feet on the point advisors, restricted them from being deployed in close proximity to the front lines, at the height restriction on the use of airstrikes to avoid civilian casualties. that's a laudable goal, but in the long run, is pulling punches in the air war has enabled isis to kill more civilians and a track more fanatic followers -- attract. the administration recently announced the deployment of 50 special operations, personnel to syria and a larger expeditionary targeting force to iraq.
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homeland if it's allowed to consolidate its rule. a touch more realistic point of strategy needs to be wedded to a long-term political economic ideological in the diplomatic effort. it's important that the islamic state -- it's important to note that isis doesn't lead a monolithic insurgency that there are layers of ad hoc allies that have acquired including the remnants of saddam hussein's military and the leaders of salt which way the wind was blowing and pursued the marriage of convenience of isis not for ideological reasons but they saw isis is the lesser evil compared to the unresponsive government in baghdad and damascus. all the way although it gets all the headlines, isis relies on
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these allies and they need to be peeled away if isis is going to be defeated. we need to explain that the kiwis heel and the fact that it's extremism alienates that forced people to live under the rule in the u.s. and allies those under isis ruled that the tribes will not defect unless they see a concerted and effective design that to the u.s. is involved and that the tide is turning and that they can count on sustained u.s. support and protection in the aftermath. ultimately the administration is right that the iraq and citizens
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need to do more on the ground to escalate the coalition military efforts and provide more effective support for them and their anti-isis efforts. washington also must lean harder on baghdad to pressure to rein in the militia and reach out to the sunni arab tribal leaders and give them a reason to turn against isis. the war is going to be much difficult in part because we don't have -- we lack reliable allies we've already worked with on the ground that the u.s. needs to strengthen the elements of the rebel coalition that are opposed to isis and prepare for the game that will cement a sustainable political structure within after this kaleidoscope is tested once again with more effect if military action against isis that may come hopefully in this administration that has not been but if not then in the next administration said the bottom line i would say is that this administration has
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been in denial about the persistent threat posed by islamist extremists particularly isis. it has done too little too late to halt the trends that we see in the region today. thank you. [applause] i will follow jim's example and remain seated. also, my challenge to avoid repeating what my fellow colleagues on the panel have said, let me begin though at the risk of stating the obvious by stating how different everything looks today compared to four and a half years ago when we were repeatedly assured that al qaeda was on the verge of strategic collapse. first i may disagree lightly on this perspective i think i'll qaeda remains as much of a threat as isis. isis one can see that in the fact that al qaeda is present in more places today than it's ever
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been before and currently has at least 17 major networks or affiliates and associates more than double the number it had in 2008 and i think that the addition of lisa talked about is particularly dangerous and pernicious and it was dismissed as a publicity stunt. second come as we all know even more worrisome than the stubborn resilience is the emerging isis. the message remains unfortunately both compelling and both brands continue to resonate. i would say the message is fairly simple which means it's extraordinarily difficult for us to counter. it has become simply.
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they were striking a blow at the hated enemy and today what he we see is the same sort of ideology and sentiment taking root and in fact the more shocking the violence the more attractive it is to those who rally to isis and al qaeda. at the end of the day how do you effectively counter and narrative that is based on the message of the protective violence. this increasing sectarian basis of the messaging of both groups that see themselves as an apocalyptic struggle against their foremost enemies and also the west west and the united states and unfortunately we've seen in the past couple of years the power of the social media and the way that it underpins and facilitates and encourages
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foreign fighters so that u.s. house of representatives and homeland security committee estimated the number of fighters that have rallied upward of 25,000 individuals drawn from some 80 countries throughout the world. i think these two developments in particular the residence of the message continue to appeal the brand and large number of fighters to ensure us to struggle will continue for years and finally we have to look at ourselves on obviously the events of san bernardino over the past few days demonstrate that we are in a complicated environment but perhaps the complications are greatest because the threat has grown and is growing at a moment when our resources and even our political will to engage this enemy has
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either contract or diminished the political fundamental challenges we face. as i wrote recently in the brief if bin laden were still alive he would be a very happy man. in 1998 in a newspaper interview he said he welcomed his death and looks forward to the opportunity because he was confident that his death would produce thousands more and certainly with the foreign fighters we've seen her out the world in greater numbers than existed in the 12 years i'll qaeda was active in afghanistan there is proof of the realization of one of his hopes. second if you recall the documents that were initially released there were 17 documents where bin laden complained that he was misunderstood and has to be branded the organization --
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>> we are going to leave this to take you to the justice department for a statement by the attorney general. >> thank you all for being here. i am joined today by the head of the department civil rights division and the attorney for the northern district of illinois. the department of justice is committed to uphold the highest standards of law enforcement throughout the united states. every american expectations deserves the protection of law enforcement in an effective and responsive and respectful most importantly constitutional. and each day thanks to those that wear the badge the citizens receive just that but with community members they feel they are not receiving that when they feel ignored in a letdown or mistreated by public safety officials there are profound consequences for the well-being of their community can to
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prevent consequences for the rule of law and for the countless law enforcement officers who strive to fulfill their duties with professionalism and integrity. today i hear to announce the department of justice has opened an investigation into what is the chicago police department has engaged in a pattern or practice of violation of the constitution or federal law. specifically we will examine a number of issues related to the chicago police department's use of force including its use of deadly force, racial, ethnic and other disparity force and its accountability mechanisms. such as disciplinary actions and its handling of allegations and misconduct. it's been opened only after the a preliminary review and careful consideration of how the justice department can best use our tools and resources to meet chicago's needs. in the coming months, this
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investigation will be conducted by experienced career attorneys from the civil rights division with the assistance of the united states attorney's office for the northern district of illinois. they will conduct a thorough and personally and independent review of the allegation and a team team will meet with a broad cross-section of members, officials and law enforcement command staff and officers to explain the process and to hear from anyone who wishes to share information relevant to this investigation. we will examine policies, practices and do you do and at the end of the investigation we will issue a report of our findings and if we discover the constitutional practices or patterns that department of justice will announce them publicly and to seek a court enforceable agreement in the chicago police department and work with the city to implement appropriate reforms. our goal in this investigation as in all of the pattern of practice investigations is not
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to focus on individuals but to improve the systems to ensure officers are being provided the tools they need including training, policy guidance and equipment to be effective and partner with civilians and strengthen public safety. we understand the same systems that fail to community members also failed conscientious officers by creating mistrust between law enforcement and the citizens we are sworn to serve and protect. this distrust from the members of the community makes it more difficult to gain the help to encourage the victims and witnesses of crime to speak out and to fulfill the most basic responsibilities of the safety officials and when suspicion and hostility is allowed to fester into unrest. the law enforcement officers and the communities we serve is one of my highest priorities as attorney general created the department intends to do everything that we can to foster the bond and create safer and
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fairer communities across the country. we work with officials and residents and law enforcement officers alike to ensure the people of chicago have the world-class police department that they deserve. thank you so much and at this time i'm happy to take a few questions. >> does it include the. of . the police department will be looking at how force including deadly force is handled, investigated and how officers are held accountable so that is our focus right now. hispanic attorney general, can you please tell us how they give . we are very interested in the status of the joint state and
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for the investigation it's taking quite a while and we would like to know if there are video document of this if you are aware of them and the potential of some people so two questions there if you can take them. >> with respect to the investigation into the death as has been announced earlier that investigation is ongoing and is being conduct it by the u.s. attorneys for the district of illinois. >> whether or not there has been a civil rights violation particularly when there's been a death resulting from the action, those investigations are thorough, independent and impartial. we reviewed the statutes which are of course a different set of statutes ban the state attorney and we are thorough and
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efficient. >> what about those that talk about . >> the information we factored into the investigation and we don't comment while it is ongoing for obvious reasons but all of that information is factored into that and i'm not able to give any more comments on that at this time. >> i was curious how as the largest police department in the country how do they affect . i imagine the officers have plenty of outstanding that police officers.
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>> when we do a pattern of practice investigations particularly on the systems involving use of force, deadly force and accountability, what we are looking at to see is how the chicago police department traffic and treats those types of actions. so a lot of what we do this at the assistance of the chicago police department that will entail a review of how it handles specific matters is what we are looking at is to see whether or not the police department as a systemic matter has engaged in constitutional violations that involves the review as you know of a host of evidence but it will be worked with the attorney general's office in illinois we feel confident they will be able to cover that. and this gentle man had a question. >> corporation counsel in the city of chicago, will officials at city hall be part of this review at second will you be
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considering obstruction of justice charges against any police officer who may have been on the scene that night? spec with respect to the first question, what we will be looking at again is the chicago police department is a damned manner of dealing with use of force particularly deadly force and whether we find racial, ethnic and other disparities in how they handle those forced allegations. it will encompass a number of things including of officers were disciplined and the disciplinary systems. we will be working with city officials for the manners you are talking about seem to relate to a different issue. but i will say is we will take information from all interested parties. we are particularly interested in hearing from community groups and community members and we are interested in hearing from the rank-and-file police department police department and we do have contact with city hall as we do
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this investigation but our investigation is independent. it isn't tied to the findings were the actions of other entities and with respect to the second question i think you have a question about the investigation. >> up obstruction charges against the chicago police department. >> at this point in time we are not predicting what the churches will be brought. i will tell you as a matter of fact when we have an investigation we do not discuss what specific charges may be brought untold the resolution of that investigation. [laughter] think you've attorney general it is important the attorney general is explaining to understand that the pattern and practice investigations that is being launched today which is important for the city of
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chicago is -- . people that live in that region are concerned about that given recent reports that there are different versions of what happened out there that don't seem to jive with what we saw on the video. >> it's important to recognize today's pattern is related to and separate from what you're asking about which is the mcdonald's incident and we do not comment on pending investigations other than to be a trade with the attorney general of the set which is we do what we do independently. we look at all relevant aspects of the options as we pursue a case and it isn't unique to this case they have a great history of doing that and improving as independent and appropriately classified when it comes to the
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criminal conduct how long has it taken for any measure of justice to be taken as a result of what happened in that incident. >> i'm not going to speak to the timeline specifically what evidence we received during the course of the investigation. what i will say is that we have pursued all of the facts and circumstances relevant to mr. mcdonald's death on october 20, 2014 with earnestness and passion as we approach any investigative matter in chicago.
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>> i wanted to offer the investigation and if not why is this not seem as what is happening on the document of the investigation? who >> it's focusing on the use of force and systems in the chicago police department that's not the issue that you raised in the purview of the investigation but as we have notified the city as with every investigation that we always reserve the right to expand it to require the review but at this point it's been an investigation. can you talk about the investigation department in the areas and that each and are you
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changing any other policies or any source of the location in light of the event? >> with respect to the community and dealing with homegrown violent extremism and the susceptibility particularly of young people to these messages from abroad that encourage them down the path of radicalization the president was appropriately noting that this was a problem for all americans in every community has a stake in giving with this issue and that where people may be closest with the situation they have the responsibility as both try to intervene we are always receiving the efforts of counting extremism of just the department of justice but the department of homeland security for every united states attorney's office involved in outreach to the arab and muslim communities and we are always looking to improve but only on the relationship in the communities but how those communities can be empowered to deal with this issue as well. one of the things i talk about when i meet with parents of a
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variety of communities is to ask them if they know what their children are doing online. and as many of you will agree it is difficult to get a handle on that and so there is there's a number of areas in which we think that the muslim american community can be effective and proactive in helping resolve these issues. >> i would like to ask you about another civil rights investigation. you talked about the trust between the community. can you tell us the status of the investigation and are you close to closing with no charges. >> that investigation is also still active and ongoing and it's also opens why not able to comment on the specifics of that and when we come to resolutions that will announce the resolution there so i'm not able to give you a comment on the case specifically except to say that it is being conducted by the u.s. attorney's office for the eastern district of new york and which i have some passing familiarity and that investigation also is
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independent and in partial committees thorough and it is reviewing all of the relevant issues in that case. >> yesterday on the eve of the news conference this morning, the head of the police review authority resigned. obviously the accountability mechanisms in the state are part of the review process. can you talk about how important it is to have a functioning discipline system? the >> i don't have a comment with regards to any board at this time but i can say is that whenever we have an investigation particularly into the use of force and accountability that the issues of how the police department not only tracks that results into disciplines for those uses of force is the key element of that and it's one of the many things that we will be looking at reviewing. also i don't want to make it seem as if we are limited to looking at chicago's systems because of course we need to
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hear from community members from residents who have experienced situations where they may feel that there is the use of force that wasn't dealt with appropriately and so we compare those to how it's handled internally. the investigation covers a host of issues. i don't want to make it seem as if we are only looking at chicago's systems but it's important that we hear also from community members and it's also important we hear from rank-and-file police officers about their perception of their training for their perception of how the force is handled from their perspective as well. >> based on your experience with these kinds of investigations what would you expect the timeline to be early talking months or years? >> as he would've probably be are unable to give any specific
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timelines all we are able to say is that the department will be conducting this review in a very thorough manner and will not leave any stone unheard and we look forward to working with everyone that has a stake in the chicago police department. >> . it's hard to say how far back we will go though because we have yet to begin area that we look at for example civilian complaints and trends in civilian complaints and we look at the trends in accountability and indiscipline and so we may start with one perspective and it could easily expand into a longer timeframe so at this point i'm not going to cabin the time period of the review of the procedures in things that have
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been occurred. >> a follow-up on that i think in a cleveland police investigation that went for 21 months that would take us past. are you confident the chicago pattern practice will be completed and then my main question about the terrorism investigation you mentioned on the interview you were not sure what ideology motivated this attack but then we had the president giving oval office address talking about how you're going to step up the fight and talking about this attack in some detail. how should i reconcile those two things. >> i'm going to go in reverse order to deal with that issue and then the question regarding the timeline of the
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investigation. at this point we are discussing the san bernardino investigation because we want the public to be aware of how they are combating the complexity and the fact that they marathon and not a sprint so we try to keep people informed and also maintain the integrity of the techniques and the like more than we can talk about others for example. we are not prepared to limit any particular ideology to what may have inspired these individuals. there are a number of groups on social media looking to encourage people to commit acts of violence in the homelands at this point homeland so at this point we do not want to rule anything out. the president was talking about the specter of isis which is an evil thing threats against american interests here and abroad into the campaign to defeat isis also other groups that seem to harm american
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interests and with respect to the question about the timing again we can't give you any prediction on this. it is my view that the investigations are significant and important and we feel that they will be carried out because frankly it's in the interest of the people in the city of chicago who deserve world-class police department constitutional policing. >> with the department of defense opened investigations in chicago before the illinois attorney general given the volume of complaints against the department to help the justice of where. >> the attorney indicated we are not going to count on the timeline of evidence that comes in in the review of that. what i can say is we did receive requests from a number of people and offices to look at the
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chicago police department and be considerate of those requests and also considered what we saw soy combination of factors reviewed by the career people in the civil rights division that have led us to come to the conclusion that this particular practice investigation is necessary. how could anybody predict the shared number of investigations is the person purpose of the civil rights division prepared do you worry the system is going to be overwhelmed? >> we take additional resources should congress allocated them to be with the civil rights division in the u.s. attorney's office in illinois that this case will be well staffed.
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we work closely with our office on these matters. >> do you have any idea how many people are deployed quite >> on the size of the investigative team that changes over time as we see the issues. what i can tell you is we do rely upon police experts and people that are statisticians. but it can change the more we get into the manner. >> you mentioned a preliminary review that was done. can you elaborate specifically to make you think there must be systemic problems.
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we reviewed what we saw in the police department and and thought felt to this investigation was appropriate and the time to open. >> talking about the number of investigations that are taking place action very to the specific instances but some have even led to civil unrest. what can the department to do in the first place? the >> all of the pattern practices are not totally reactionary in terms of specific cases. we often have situations where the police department's reach out to us and request assistance in terms of training and collaborative reform. for example in the baltimore situation that was ongoing and after working with the baltimore police department, we felt that the pattern of practice
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investigation was required in that manner so that was one where it had come about as a result of a different type of process. so, when we are talking with the police department of your looking to see the issues and whether or not the constitutional issues were implicated. that is the impetus for the pattern and practice investigation. >> this administration has opened up civil rights cases that have a number of resources and i hope some police departments maybe take a hint or try to take care of the problems on their own but even a couple of days ago a mayor in chicago didn't quite get it. do you think that they are sending a message, do you think they get it because of support? the >> with police officers around the country of the command and rank-and-file the do you look at the department of justice actions and many of them do try to look at the consent and that the issues that spur a pattern
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of practice investigation to try to implement issues or changes to avoid getting into that situation and that of course is our hope and what we hope for. we hope the reports are all on the website, i know that you've already been intensely. we hope these reports do talk about situations in which the police departments find themselves possibly having violated the constitution. it's our view that police departments will and should look at the report and take actions before it rises to the level of a specific case or incident involving a civilian and law-enforcement officer or the department having to take action. >> when did your pulmonary investigation begins, was it before the wasn't before the call by the state attorney general, did it begin before the public release of the video? >> i'm not going to comment on
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that and be for you to gentle man had his hand up. >> the mayor of chicago was involved and since relented but how confident are you that you're going to get the cooperation of the city chief? >> we got into the investigations hoping we will receive the cooperation from the city and in a situation that we wouldn't engage with them and let them know what we needed and why it's important, so we are going into this investigation with the view that we will get the cooperation of the city and i say mentioned also the community. it's important to hear from community members about these types of interaction. >> you had commented on working towards protecting the muslim community at any anti-muslim rhetoric.
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can you elaborate on any types of measures they are undertaking to look at the red flag? >> we always have a concern when we see that rhetoric rising against any particular group in america that it might inspire others to violent action and violent action is what we would have to deal with. at this point i would refer to how the president dealt with at last night which is as we consider the way that we keep american interests safe here and abroad abroad not to give into fear and let this make us abandon our values. what we are focused obvious these protecting all the people under the department of justice. in our concerns are the understandable fear that is out there after san bernardino do not lead people to take the law into their own hands would take actions that are not going to be justified.
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>> ticking questions relating to the shooting of a young man by a police officer in chicago as the department opens up a probe into the shooting. one of the last last questions have to do with a conversation last week with the group muslim advocates in virginia. she expressed concerns about the anti-muslim rhetoric and hate crimes and spoke with the group's president for about one hour and 15 minutes. >> i am so disturbed and truly frightened. that was a text message i recently received from an american muslim mother of two young girls. but i also received this message from another mother of two young children. we are counting on muslim advocates to help us in this very scary and difficult conversation. it is why we do what we do at muslim advocates.
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good evening. thank you all so much for joining us. this is a very special evening. this is the ten year anniversary of muslim advocates and it all started ten years ago right or in washington, d.c. at a law firm downtown. you can see the lawyers and policy experts from the government, private practice, from the civil rights world. we came together with an urgent task at hand to disband the sounding values of the country had a bad weekend launched muslim advocates dedicated to promoting freedom, justice and equality for all.
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for many people in this room and for others like you, some of you have given generously, financially. others have contributed their time and their talent. some have been important and crucial allies in the work and several law firms donated thousands of hours of legal time in support of our work. i want to take a moment to recognize someone very special with us this evening one of our founding board members and as she ends her service as the board of muslim advocates she is providing crucial leadership and guidance, strategic communication, governance issues. we are going to miss her but i'm sure she won't be far away so on behalf of everybody our deep thanks for her leadership.
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[applause] together, we are protecting the rights of americans of all faiths in the court at the highest level of government. i'm excited to share with you the progress we are making. dean just told you about one of the exciting victories we have this year. we had another exciting victory. in january and muslim advocates muslim advocates and the cocounsel for the constitutional rights were set sent to present oral arguments before the u.s. court of appeals for the third circuit in philadelphia. this is going to be the first time that a federal appeals court would be hearing and deciding on the lookout with the offending new york police department discriminatory surveillance program, a program that was run to basically
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collect information and to spy on american muslims not based on evidence of wrongdoing but simply based on their faith in new york, new jersey, pennsylvania and connecticut. as that day in january was approaching, i was starting to get a knot in my stomach. you see a few days before the hearing, the terrible attacks in paris against the offices in the magazine had taken place. and i was sure world events were going to case and invective in fact it was the second question from the judges. why shouldn't the police have the authority to survey of american muslims? it's an argument we continue to hear today from pundits and politicians. but as the hearing began, i anxiety and my worries eased.
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there were so many community members that passed the courtroom it came from new york, from philadelphia, and in fact there were so many community members that shared with us the overflow room. the people that came included some of our plaintiffs. iraq war veterans. mosques of new york new jersey that had been surveyed, ian on devon sharif. they showed courage to take on the discriminatory policing practices of those were just police departments in the country if not the world. and they were now getting their chance to have their grievances heard by the court of law. i happened to glance up at the ceiling in the courtroom and
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these words. justice and guardians of liberty. and on october 13, justice was served. the court court issued its decision and unanimous decision against the city of new york in its favor of our plaintiffs. [applause] in fact the courts opinion was so decisive it contained some of the most powerful language we have seen from the federal for standing federal for standing up for the rights of american muslims since 9/11 and one of the passages was this. we've been down similar roads before. african-americans during the civil rights movement and
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japanese-americans during world war ii are examples that spring to mind. the case also got ample media attention and by legal analysts. one analyst said this lesson about discrimination is one the nation needs to learn over and over. our case now goes back to the trial court and we are preparing for the trial and with your support, we will end racial and religious profiling by law enforcement once and for all. [applause] every american has the right to feel safe in their homecoming in
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their houses of worship and in their communities. earlier this year we were all struck when we heard the devastating news of the brutal murders of three muslim students in chapel hill north carolina. this has been the deadliest year to be a muslim in america. not long after those attacks, the muslim community in upstate new york received horrifying news that a group come a network of anti-government publish our folks were basically plotting an attack to come up to their community, attack their schools, attack their community and killed their children.
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that was the intent expressed by those folks. most of those perpetrators were arrested thankfully, but the fact still remains. in the face of this violence and even death, the families, the community of islam has shown amazing courage, determination and grace. we are honored to have with us this evening her brother, his former roommate and members of the islam community. i want to take a moment to thank them for their commitment to
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pursuing freedom and justice not just for their families, but to pursuing freedom and justice for all of our families and for that we think them. [applause] we also know that the federal government has an important crucial role to play to ensure the public safety. and so since the beginning of this year as muslim advocates we have been in a series of intensive to medications with senior officials at the department of justice. i've been in regular contact with the assistant attorney general for civil rights and i just want to take a moment to thank her and her team for their responsiveness.
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she's been available almost any kind of time of the day any day of the week to talk about these issues as they've been affecting our community so thank you. [applause] and later this evening you will hear directly from the attorney general herself on these and other issues. it is our hope that with the attorney general's leadership, the federal government will send a powerful message that hate, violence, intimidation based on anti-muslim hate will meet the full force of the law. at this time of great challenge and paying for our community we've also been fortunate to have with us the support of our allies and partners as muslim
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advocates called for federal hate crimes investigations into these calls out public officials for engaging in divisive anti-muslim rhetoric and other faith groups and civil rights groups and civic organizations from across racial and ethnic lines have stood with us in support of our community and we are very honored to have with us this evening representatives of several allies including the anti-defamation league county interfaith alliance got the southern poverty law center, the human rights campaign, media matters for america and the national religious campaign against torture. they have stood up for american values. they have stood with muslim advocates and now i think that it's our turn to stand up and express our appreciation for their support and friendship.
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i ask you to join me in standing up and expressing our support and thanks to our allies. [applause] we are thankful for our friends and allies that we know they are not alone. we know we need to do more to make it easier for fair-minded americans to stand up for what is right and what is just. that's why in the coming months muslim advocates will be launching a new advocacy campaign to counter anti-muslim bigotry and i look forward to sharing more details about that very soon.
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so with the support of the forward thinking donors, we have been making progress because we are stronger together. they included people like the proud father of these three adorable young kids and like many of you come his hopes and dreams for his future is inextricably tied to his children. he emigrated to the united states from syria as a teenager fleeing dictatorship in seeking freedom. but now he sees the climate of hate violence and anti-muslim rhetoric that he's concerned about his kids. he doesn't want his kids to be raised in this kind of situation. he's doing his part to protect our nations share values that
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bring us together as americans. that's why he supports muslim advocates. but he's not alone. there are many people in our country including here in this room this evening. he is on your left, he's on your right and he is you. i know you have your own hopes and dreams for your families and friends that your children, your family come to your neighbors will be treated with respect and dignity. together we can make that dream come true. we can make progress if we move forward together because we are
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truly stronger together. thank you all again so much for joining us this evening. [applause] she will be back later with the attorney general. [applause] i hope her word inspired you. i do want to say briefly the stakes that we are talking about especially right now is life and death. i'm not exaggerating or being hyperbolic we see a spike in the attacks on mosques how many people know the name glendon scott crawford he was convicted in august of plotting to go to new york state with a weapon of mass destruction to slaughter muslims up there. he was convicted. how about robert plotting to go with a group of men with a
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machete machete that cuts for muslims to shreds and kill them. how do you tell your children people are coming to kill you just because of your faith? that's what you're doing. so i have to keep in mind that there are cards on your table. make a pledge. i'm an optimist. i think the words here are on the frontlines of making things better for young people of any faith that right now especially muslims and i also optimistic they could give muslims hurricane names into that wouldn't help us. [laughter] they've also been pushed to the local law enforcement around the country to investigate hate crimes and sometimes people look away. so keep them in mind and today we will continue on the opportunity to offer an outstanding ally who has been crucial to muslim advocates in
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their fight for freedom with the former head of the alliance. many of you know she is a deputy director who brings a deep expertise in the policy that we worked together on the campaign. [applause] good evening. today i had the honor of presenting the voice encourage award to the reverend recently finished his time as executive director of the interfaith alliance our close ally and
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partner. for 16 years he flew back and forth between munro louisiana and washington, d.c. so that he could remain the pastor asked northampton baptist church. people who work with him often say that he is the first he's the first person in any room to speak truth to power. loud and proud they say. if he sees something wrong, he will call it out. you've likely heard him passionately fight against bigotry on many of his media appearances. at the interfaith alliance, he used his platform to challenge misconceptions and promote understanding about the american muslim community. and he certainly does and be the -- doesn't accept the idea that we have to choose between national security and civil rights. we became close during the
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hysteria surrounding the park 51 community center of new york city. all of us remember the inflammatory rhetoric coming from hate groups that provoked hate crimes, protests and intimidation of muslims and mosques all over the country. the community was terrified. it was unfortunately a time not unlike that which we are experiencing today. he immediately understood the importance of building public alliances with muslims. he worked with us to set up a meeting with the attorney general eric holder and during that meeting he didn't pull any punches. he called on the attorney general and the president to do more and to do better. and when peter king organized the first-ever hearings targeting the religious group,
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he and his team helped us form a coalition of over 60 groups to fight back. since then we worked together to respond and there was a bigger supporter of our advocacy to stop surveillance and harassment of american muslims by the nypd. interact his team single-handedly coordinated with the one of the most powerful amicus briefs in support of the case. even now he is one of the first people we hear from any kind of crisis for the community. he always asks what can i do to help. he said about leaving the interfaith alliance i don't have the sense that either jefferson or god is wringing their hands because i'm leaving. i don't know about jefferson or god but i can tell you that the hand wringing has muslim
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advocates started the day is days that you said you were moving on. [applause] >> thank you so much for everything you've done for the muslim american community please join me in recognizing the reverend. [applause] >> thank you so much. to be perfectly honest with you this evening, i accept this
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award from muslim advocates with mixed emotions. the most powerful of which is profound gratitude. i am thankful beyond measure that the board of interfaith alliance gave me an opportunity to spend every day at the intersection of religion government and politics advocating for our first freedom and encouraging interreligious cooperation. i had the good fortune of making my passion my work and my work my passion. my presence in that office about me the privilege of regularly learning from and cooperatively interacting with muslim advocates. our shared values for disney
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ample opportunities to express my patriotism through efforts to move the nation closer to full compliance with our constitution and conviction that religion can be inclusive and compassionate and its relationship to all people. working alongside individuals who also understand the importance of religious freedom and the necessity of equal justice for all from individuals who share my conviction that real religion polls with bejeweled respect and personal compassion my colleagues and advocates became my friends. ..
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to an extent that the meaning, integrity and quality of freedom in religious freedom, for all americans, are seriously threatened. when candidates for the highest office in our land sound like
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bigots with favor anarchy over democracy, something is bad, wrong. win any persons religious identities can be considered a justification for hate and discrimination, the health of the soul of our republic needs to be re-examined. having spent most of my adult life promoting, protecting and defending religious freedom, i must tell you that i do not think we could pass the first amendment to the constitution today. extremely shortsighted people are seeking to change the definition of liberty in order to claim freedom for themselves that they refused to extend to
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others. [applause] i heard -- i hurt with you, as well as stand beside you in support, knowing that muslims are under a severe attack that includes despicable violence by people who don't understand either the constitution or islam. i'm reminded of the dark days of the civil rights movement when, under threats of danger, asa constitutional rights had to seek protection through lobbying for new laws or insisting on the enforcement of laws already on our books.
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while at the same time trying to change the hearts and minds of the american people. we want to change those minds. we have to have those laws. thankfully, muslim advocates is aware of that strategy. you have heard it. legal initiatives are imperative. no office in our nation is superior to the guarantee of the issues of freedom and justice for all people. when it comes to issues of the heart, and i'm speaking now to the muslim community, when it comes to issues of the heart, you should not have to go it alone. it is far past time for all religions in this land, maggiore religions and minority religions, to position themselves alongside you as
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muslims, and to remain alongside you tirelessly advocating for eradicating hate and practicing injustice as your having to experience. [applause] >> what farhana and i had the honor of doing together, along with other colleagues, sitting at a table with the attorney general of the united states, seeking wisdom that would move us to crises with no abdication of support for the constitution, testifying in congress to expose the lies being told about muslims, and clarifying the difference between a religion of peace and a sick organization
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perpetrating violence, encouraging the white house to highlight the plight as well as the benefits of all minority religions in our nation. that work was fulfilling and fun for us. it is work that needs to be done. it is work that has to be done in media, coffeehouses, humanist gatherings, board tables, universities, atheist organizations and houses of worship all across this nation. as muslims are not free in this nation, none of us are free in this nation. [applause] and i'm very grateful for muslim advocates and for this honor that you have given to me.
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and i hope that our time of celebration this evening can serve as an inspiration and a time for all of us to recommit ourselves to doing the work of freedom together for the integrity of religion and the vitality of our democracy, and please, god, for the possibility of peace. [applause] give it up again for dr. gaddy. [applause]
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>> so we're going to continue on. our next speaker is a friend of mine all the way from new jersey as well. he's a council member, the first mayor who is muslim i think in the history -- is going at the end. sorry, you are stuck there. i don't really know the guy. i just met him. [laughter] to our and we -- might have your so i have to know, great guy. i know that both. he's a member of congress. ease in his fourth full term, come from the great state of indiana. congressman carson has worked to protect rights of americans of all walks of life. he is an advocate for everyone. we are lucky to have as an ally in congress who stands for freedom, justice, equality for all. since the
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advocates as my eyes and ears on the ground across the country. and i appreciate, and i know i rely on them to deliver new with the utmost, the purest information, the most reliable information, and the kind of information that i think will help those of us in congress make sound decisions, regardless of our school of thought. i trust and look up to their staff, knowing that they are experts on law and policy matters. i know their work has touched many lives. i look forward to working with them in the future. i think about muslim advocates, and i think about throughout history how the kind of advocacy that they represent has sparked change in our society. think about those advocates were on the ground, like frederick
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douglass, working with brothers and sisters in the abolitionist movement to do what congress refused to do and pushed then-president abraham lincoln to emancipate the sulleys. i think about the advocates who are on the ground when congress refused to do what needed to be done to push a then-president truman to desegregate military. i think by those numerous advocates in the form of fannie lou hamer and dr. martin luther king and a. philip randolph and rabbi abraham joshua henschel, and others, who were on the ground along with the faith community doing what needed to be done to push congress and president johnson signed the voting rights act, and the civil rights act. edited by the great work that you are doing today. edited by the importance of
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having a our top law enforcement officer in the country to be an advocate on behalf of the american people. so that's what it's a tremendous honor to introduce attorney general loretta lynch. [applause] >> this is her first public event with the american muslim community. i met her in new york when she was the u.s. attorney at an event of the muslim community. but you have to understand that as a child she and her father would literally visit the courthouse into rome north carolina to watch the court proceedings -- to rome north carolina. her interest in the courts grew out of stories she shared with her grandfather. he was a sharecropper who helped
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african-americans in the south move to the north to flee persecution based on racist jim crow laws. and even before becoming the chief law enforcement officer of these united states, and she used the courts in the fight for justice, liberty, and equality. and notably she played a critical role in prosecuting those new york city police officers who physically and sexually assaulted a haitian immigrant living in new york. attorney general lynch begin her career in public service as a federal prosecutor with the u.s. attorney's office for the eastern district of new york, working on narcotics, violent crime, public corruption, and civil rights cases. she was appointed as the u.s.
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attorney by both president clinton and president obama. in private practice she performed extensive pro bono work protecting human rights. after her career in public service, attorney general lynch made history as the first african-american woman to serve in this great role. [applause] >> she's tough. now, since she was first nominated, had a chance to get an hour and 11 thing i can say for certain, our community and our country, we have an attorney general that deeply cares for justice and for fairness. muslim-americans are held back by discrimination. they are threatened by hatred. we have an advocate at the department of justice. we should feel confident that she will not only stand with muslims in our most difficult times, but she will stand with
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all americans to make sure they have equality under the law. brothers and sisters, friends and family, please welcome our attorney general, get on your feet, for loretta lynch to the stage as she joins farhana for a deep conversation about islamophobia. [applause] >> madam attorney general, welcome. it is an honor to have you join us in your first public event with the american muslim community. i must say it couldn't come at a more important time for our
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community, so thank you for joining us. >> thank you for having me. thank you for this application. let me make sure my microphone is on to make sure -- if you cannot hear me let me know. i don't think -- i think i am still muted. okay. how is that? no? liable to you that rarely have i had trouble being heard. [laughter] usually it's the opposite reaction. i think, is the coming up? let's get this repositioned and see because of this, thank you so much. just so you know, my stunt director here is extremely
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talented, that it may civil rights division. as you can see she saves me on a daily basis from any number of issues, but also does tremendous work in important areas on quite glad she was here tonight. let's make sure we have this in the right spot. okay, great. [applause] are we wired? are we ready? >> outstanding, outstanding. despite the technical issue, caused solely by me and let me apologize. let me thank you, farhana, and the entire board and group for this invitation. i am so excited to be. and let me also say that i truly appreciate this invitation on what i understand is your 10th anniversary. it is very, very special wing groups as dedicated and as focused as yours invite me to share in an important event, it truly taught me a lot to me personally and can as the attorney general's life thank you for this invitation.
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[applause] >> thank you. thank you for accepting. so maybe just to kick things off, could you just biggest start off by telling us what you see as your highest reorders as attorney general? >> surely come absolutely. i think about that. there are a number of issues that challenge the department of justice. many of which muslim advocates are deeply involved in. i also thank you for your partnership on so many of those issues as well. the work of the department is very, wide, multifaceted. i am focusing in the time that i have on four main areas that in no way diminishes issues that we discovered in areas, and others. i'm focused on national security and terrorism. we have seen the threats are ever evolving and they are widespread. they affect us, our partners. i think, frankly, they are affecting us really deep and fundamental ways. they're causing as to look at
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how we evaluate certain crimes and the language that we use to describe them, and forcing us, and i think in a very positive way to really grapple with the issue of protecting ourselves and also protecting our rights. so those are favorite important issues to me. i'm also focusing on the issue of cybersecurity. if anyone has been near a computer lately you know and have basic a 12 year old to help you interpret it. so what we see, however, is that with the explosion of the ease and simplicity, and, frankly, the great for those of the cyberworld of living in the cloud, frankly help make this open for exploitation, particularly when it comes to the business community and economic and intellectual property rights of so many of our corporations. i know we have an extremely strong entrepreneurial community here in the trade, most of
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america's arctic very important part of the. it's not just the large multinational or the established companies that deal with this issue -- this is great, thank you. this is great, thank you very much. so i will tell you that i promise not to sing. [laughter] despite having his snazzy new mic. but as the same with respect to cybersecurity, as we expand into new and other areas of business, particularly what comes to the entrepreneurial spirit of our country, so much work nowadays particularly with young designers and developers is being done online. the theft of intellectual property is a multibillion-dollar issue and woodworking in some important ways including with china i just recited ministerial this week on those issues. another main priority is human trafficking. and it's because ago out of work i did in brooklyn as he is the attorney their and the cases that i saw with young people, primarily women but not always, but primarily women and girls
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lured from a host of countries with false promises, promises of a better life, promises of an american life. those promises were turned into nightmares. the more i look into the issue the more i realized what a widespread and largely invisible crime this is. and how so many of our young women and girls are at risk, and once they fall into this, how hard it is to get out. and even when they can be rescued, a typical they could be forced into reintegrate into society. and i frankly think that there's too much value in the power of women and girls to allow a single one of them to be thrown away. that's why that's a priority of mine. [applause] >> and my other main target has been focusing on the relationship between law enforcement and the committees we serve, particularly communities of color, communities involving ethnic minorities.
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it's an issue i've been looking at frankly since the earliest days as a prosecutor in new york city. the congressman mention one of the cases i did. highlighted that for me in very significant ways that i did some cases with the asian american-chinese community as well and had occasion to work on those issues. that's been a party of mine as well. and the marriage of other things that the department does. >> great. let's maybe start to dig down into some specific issues. i think an issue on the minds of many american muslims is that since the tragic attack in paris two weeks ago there's been a decidedly disturbing uptick in anti-muslim rhetoric. it's been very divisive. and many of us feel that the rhetoric is the worst it's ever been and we are very concerned about the environment, creates favorite toxic and private that might even give license to some to engage in acts of violence. so in light of these attacks in
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this toxic climate, what message does the federal government have the american muslim community? >> thank you. i think you could not have touched on a more timely issue. serving in the wake of paris which as a country and as a part of your has been grappling with anti-muslim rhetoric for some time because of small incidents. this large one is really the equivalent of their 9/11. certainly as we saw here in the u.s. and incredibly disturbing rise in anti-muslim rhetoric, if you you've just mentioned is, in fact, migrated, as someone who is more to the protection of all of the american people, which is that the radical be accompanied by acts of violence. obviously, the incidents in pairs were a tragedy and i know everyone sympathizes with the victims there. and a tremendous loss of life, and we continue to support that investigation. but what i think is important to note is the department of justice view is that we can and will do that.
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we also will not give into fear. my message to not just the muslim community but the entire american community is we cannot give in to the fear that these backlashes are really based on. and i understand it, we all remember whether it's 9/11 or and neighbor of yours is assaulted, we feel that fear, that sense of lack of control and inability to do something about it. you do start to spin and try to find ways that you think would be the easy fix, right, the simple way to corral an issue or to contain a concern. and so in many eyes, anti-muslim rhetoric becomes that path. what's greatly concerning to us is the rise that you mentioned. i remember nine 9/11, and those are very, very difficult days. i heard some disturbing thing some people that i never thought i would hear, certain things from. and i think the rise of the internet, the ability of people
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to issue hateful speech of all types from the anonymity of the screen is something that increases that rhetoric. obviously this is a country that is based on free speech, but when it edges towards violence, when we see the potential for someone, lifting that mantle of anti-muslim rhetoric, or as we saw after 9/11, violence directed at individuals who may not even be muslims but may be perceived to be muslims, and they will suffer just as well, just as much. when we see that we will take action. my view is that we cannot be ruled by fear. when we are ruled by fear we are not making ourselves safe. we are not effective, not thinking things through. will not look at what works. we have now, sadly, a lot of experience in this area and a lot of experience in this field. this is what we do 24/7. agenda people are saying if we
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stop the refugees and signed a bill of guarante guaranteed incs is not the way. i will do anything and consider anything that will keep the american people safe, but simply rushing to judgment on something to a friend of mine once said take aggressive action, you don't take impetuous action. then you waste your resource and you end up doing more harm than good. so my message to the muslim community is that we stand with you in this. i think i can one of the reasons why particularly appreciate the invitation is a muslim advocates understand the power of language. that power for harm as you've been talking about by the incredible power of language for good. the incredible power of language to educate, to inform and to illustrate. you also understand the power of organizations and focusing that voice but i think it is so tremendously important in this
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time to let your voices be heard. and as you do that, please know that the department of justice and this attorney general will be your partner in that effort. [applause] >> thank you for those kind words and the clarity, frankly. i think that is needed now more than ever in our country, so thank you very much. we've also been noticing an uptick in hate crime incidents affecting individuals, our institutions, and in the wake of a terrorist attacks we've actually been noticing a disturbing even greater rate of attacks so i was wondering if you could tell us what the justice department is doing to hold perpetrators of hate crimes accountable speak with this is an incredibly important area for us. i mentioned before, the head of
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my civil rights division, also robert is here, very important partner in the leadership of my civil rights division as well. because for us this has been an important issue since 9/11, but i would say and no less so years. ai should mention most recently we also sing this uptick and it's incredibly disturbing. had i known she was going to be or i would not have brought my crib sheet because the only note i brought were i want to make sure that had the information on this issue if it came up because i'm incredibly proud of the work our civil rights division does. intensive case but also investigation and counseling in areas. but where we do see anti-muslim rhetoric and actions are defined as we do take action or criminal prosecution, the matthew shepard james byrd hate crimes act has been incredibly effective for us but i did want to just note that i think we have yes, we have charged 225 defendants with hate
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crimes over the last six years. both of those in the last three years. since 9/11 that over 1000 investigations into acts of anti-muslim hatred including rhetoric and bigoted action with over 45 prosecutions arising out of that. i think sadly that number is going to continue. i think it's important, however, that as we can talk about the importance of free speech we make it clear that action predicated on violence talk or not america. they are not who we are but they are not what we do and they will be prosecuted. so i want that message to be clear also. >> great, thank you. [applause] >> another area of concern that our community has been facing in recent years is what our community is trying to build mosques or expand mosques, and the essential encounter opposition at the local level,
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that sometimes is with the veneer of being a zoning issue but under the surface it's motivated by anti-muslim kind of attitude. our country has a robust first amendment guaranteeing freedom of worship, and that includes building of houses of mosques. i was wondering what advice do you have for community members are super tight ago about the first amendment rights to practice their faith and to build a house of worship? >> obviously with my own background i think that's the a very important area. houses of worship religion be the heart of a community. they can be the cradle of the family. they can be places where our children go to learn, not just our faith, but to make friends and to build their own connections. they are essential to healthy america. every community deserves the rights of those houses of worship operate in safety and in peace. and as a muslim convert the expand which is a wonderful
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thing, muslims have been in discussion as long as any other group and that some of the most oldest and beautiful mosque in this hemisphere. we have seen a disturbing increase in the rhetoric against been. and i think what you will see are people, as people continue down this path, which i think frankly it's an unfortunate one but it is one driven by fear. people try to use things such as you mentioned, such as a zoning laws to try to make them become a bludgeon against a peaceful religion and house of worship. i mean frankly would you rather have a house of worship in your midst as opposed to another strip mall, you know, or some other thing? maybe not. but in terms, that in terms of the valley of it, it's something, the valley has been seen for years until we get these backlashes. we have a very, very active
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practice in our litigation which is the residential and unpredictable name right but essentially it protects the freedom to build a mosque and also at to practice religion. most of the cases under that particular statute that gives the most attention tend to involve institutionalized persons, the rights of persons to practice their faith. but also a focus is on the right to build a house of worship in a an appropriate zone area. with a number of matters in which we have successfully defended the rights of mosques to either expand as is often the case or to build. and i think probably one of the ones that was the most known was the murfreesboro road case were i think the law was bent and twisted in a way that showed how strong this backlash can be. what i would say that when you see effort like that and you have concerns like that, please reach out to the department of justice. that is what we are here for and
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we are honored to take those cases. [applause] i should also add that in respected not just houses of worship of areas in which we are seeing areas, growing areas of concern also come and we have for sometime specifically involved our children and issues of bullying in schools but that's an area whic in which wee part of what the department of education to provide guidance to schools on how to handle situations where students come to them when they feel bolded. we've seen for a number of years and we saw it a lot in in your area unfortunate what would be a backlash against the muslim community, and i think we as parents often the weekend withstand these issues and they can at least argue back or talkback. but our children go to school at the dawn of those tools yet. they don't know. kids are very good at finding that spot in pushing.
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so we are very, very active in that front as well. so what i would urge people to do if you're aware of situations where children are involved, please contact the department of justice and the department of education. we can provide guidance. we can have conversations but everything need not result in a lawsuit. but some things do have to go to that area. we have as you may know open an investigation into the case of the young man in irving, texas. we'll see what the investigation goes. so you have an extreme situation like that but you also have those everyday things that happen. we have an important, important role to play so please think of us there as well. >> thank you. [applause] >> and let me first say that it is greater that the department has opened an investigation into the irving, texas, high school. that case the treatment of the kid with the only clock was an
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issue of great concern and really struck a chord with many parents. soberly prescient the department's leadership on that as well as the murfreesboro case. the department's role and to send the right of the committee was absolutely crucial and i don't know if you know this, madam attorney general, but the committee after the department prevailed on the side of the community, the community was able to proceed, build a mosque and it opened a little over a year ago and they are apportioned part of the committee and supported the interface allies in that community. so thank you for that important work. i want to turn out to a different issue, something you touched on briefly in your opening remarks in an pastiche of law enforcement and community relations. as congressman carson mentioned, in the early part of the aggressive federal prosecutor you are part of the high profile case of the brutal assault. at around the time it was also
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the case -- these very high profile cases of police brutality. that was in the late 90s in which there was a public outcry that hey, we really need to do something about excessive use of force by law enforcement. and yet today seems like we're having a conversation all over again for michael brown to eric garner to tamir rice, sandra bland, and then more recently of course jamar clark. so to sum it seems like not much has changed. why hasn't much changed in these last 15 years? >> i think a lot about that in particular about the parallels between those cases. i was i think we had as difficult and as highly charged as the environment is now when it comes to police community relations and these specific cases that we are talking about. in a sense the environment has
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changed. it's become more difficult because we are seeing these things that are very, very vivid and hard to watch, and, frankly, painful. when we did the case in 1998 and it went to trial in 99, you know, we didn't have the videotapes that people have now. even though most of the altercation occurred on the street, some of the initial beatings, the sexual assault in the playstation was in a bathroom. but we didn't videotapes. we had to pull it out of police witnesses come and also civilian witnesses who did not want to come forward. if you've ever talked about the difficult witness, imagine a police officer testified in that kind of case. we have officers who came forward and said this is so wrong. by the atmosphere at the time was that this crime is so horrific and this action as described is so unbelievable that a lot of people have
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trouble believing that it had occurred. who would think that uniformed new york city police officers would come in addition to beating summit in the back of a car, use a broomstick and sodomized him as punishment also? and for us we had medical records. without those medical records though i don't think that we would have been able to carry the day ultimately. in the middle of the top of the defendant pled guilty. now we have because of technology, we have visual evidence of things that poker. not just of the witness cell phones but the surveillance cameras and security cameras and, of course, police body cams and dashboard cameras. as i mentioned before they are hard to watch. but they are so important to watch because they've given us the ability to open up this dialog. individually meant that not only law enforcement at other members of the community who for a variety of reasons never really
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accepted that this kind of misconduct went on. now have to see with so many groups have been saying for so many years. when i go out to do a lot of talking to police groups and minority groups in different community groups as well, and to refrain among the police is, oh, gee, that wouldn't happen. and i understand it because no one wants to think that your group of people that you support a know about would do something like that. the majority of them don't. we had entered his amount of support from nypd officers because they viewed the action as so, not only disgraceful, but a new way would bring on the entire department. but you have community groups saying no, this does happen a lot. this happens all the time. when people talk about whether it's stop and frisk largest discourteous treatment or actual
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abuse, well, it's probably not that bad, or they would literally, i just can't believe that that would happen. and that in some ways was the result. so people have a dialogue and people in the communities understood completely what people were talking about. people outside the community managed to move away from that. people move away from painful things. these videos mean that we cannot do that. and, frankly, it has in many ways forced a discussion within law enforcement that has been long overdue. that in many ways has been productive. it's been painful. it's not an easy thing to change. but now when i go out i talked to police chiefs and to talk to the rank-and-file, and they say, this is not who we want to be. they come to the department and they will request assistance. it will request that we come in and help them with training and help them with issues. that every department. we still have a very active
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pattern of practice going on. i'm sure that will continue. the number of officers i talked to come particularly to younger, minority officers who say i became a police officer because i want to stop kids went down the wrong path. give me the tools and training to do that. they can look at these figures and say that's not what i want to be. the community deals with that and says this is the example of what we have to stop. so it's a different environment in that sense, but in many ways it's a more painful conversation but i think we can use it to get to a better place. we can really use it to come up with consistent standards, with training, with possibly consistent standards on collection of data of these incidents of use of force. we need national data on these incidents. and i talk to police departments also and they say we agree, we agree, but it's burdensome. so when they do it to our consent decrees they say it is
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useful, it would is helpful. that's what we're talking to police groups now i'm getting national standards for data and collection of use of force and other incidents as well. this is vital to the discussion. >> wonderful. we have time for one more question. may be something to have the audience get to know you a little bit. what has been the most rewarding part of your career? >> i can tell you, being attorney general is pretty good. [laughter] [applause] >> but i have to say i think, you talk to most people with a question that will probably look back on a point that at the time or situation there in at the time they didn't realize was so impactful, but looking back it was. the work i was able to do while
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when i was in private practice at a firm you know well, and i spent a significant amount of time over several years doing pro bono work at the international criminal tribunal for rwanda. i tonka truck at the cycladic there with a group of other lawyers for several years in 2001-2007. been in the summer of 2005 the tribunal need assistance with a witness tampering investigation. they asked it to come in and do a special investigation for them so i spent most of the sum of 2005, which was 10 years ago, in rwanda everything genocide survivors in order to do with the witness tampering investigation i did go back and we investigate the original massacre that was the topic of some testimony that possibly have been tainted. and it was a tremendous experience. i spent a lot of time delving into the history of frankly one of the most horrific acts that i
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think civilization has seen come when one group tried to wipe another from the face of the earth. it was rewarding as a prosecutor, moving as a person, and in many ways it showed me but it made me think a lot about the basis for why we have the situation in so many instances in so many ways of man's inhumanity to man. whether it's tribalism, whether it's racism, whether it's xenophobia and whether it's the anti-muslim backlash and files we're talking about. we spend so much time and energy finding ways to divide ourselves from each other. and then thinking, aha, now that i found a difference i can act on it. and it is, it's really been an eye-opening experience for me to see this. i don't know the reason why. i do not pretend to understand
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the human condition enough to know why we fall victim to this. time and time again. i do not know that. but i did see as a result of the tribunal, and i've been able to see as attorney general, is what happens when people with good will and in many instances good-faith, plural, come together and decide to stop it. and when we descend into that come the heart of the darkness, be it the genocide, via to racism, be it what we're talking about tonight, we pull together and they come together. and for me i turn to the law for that. other people turn to other types of organization. but we find a way to say, this is not who we are. and we find a way to try and give justice to victims of that kind of hatred. and so it made me tremendously sad to talk to the survivors and his their stories, but also made me tremendously proud of the
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fact that they trusted me with their stories and that i was part of the system that had as its goal and at its heart justice for them. i've kept it up with me ever since then. i was fortunate to be back in rwanda a few weeks ago to revisit some of the locations, and i think about that when i'm sitting in the attorney general's office. i think, some as the how am i doing and it's been about a difficult day. i'm alive and do what is chasing the with a machete. i'm good. i'm good. [applause] who understand but what i think about is that throughout this world and even more and more throughout this country there are people who can't say that. they can't say that. and i have the ability to do something about that. i had the ability and i have the team, and i have dedicated people who work all day and well into the night to stop that and
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to do something about that and to find justice for people. what i realized is i cannot guarantee the absence of discrimination or hatred or prejudice, but i can guarantee the presence of justice. so that's why that was rewarding. [applause] >> i cannot think of a better word to end on, attorney general. again, thank you so much for joining us. i think hearing your reassuring words at this challenging time for our country and for the american muslim community is just so meaningful to us, so thank you again. everyone, please join me in thanking the attorney general. >> thank all of you. [applause]
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[inaudible conversations] >> this afternoon remarks from house homeland security chair michael mccaul on the state of homeland security. he was between audience at the national defense university in washington, d.c. you can watch the live at 12:30 p.m. eastern here on these into. both chambers of congress are in session today and had two weeks of work left before the christmas recess. the house plans to spend a week working on 2016 government spending with current funding set to expire friday. they will consider a bill to tighten up the visa waiver program. you can watch the house on c-span. the senate is expected to vote at some point this week on agreement with house on a revised no child left behind measure and, of course, they wanted to pass the government spending measure. you can follow the senate live you on c-span2. >> tonight on "the
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communicators," terrorism and the use of social media. will examine households need is used by various terrorism groups to radicalized and recruit new members from around the world. we are joined by alberto fernandez and mark wallace. both recently testified at a house oversight committee hearing on radicalization of social media and the rise of terrorism. spirit if you look at the world, the production of media worldwide, if you look at hollywood, look at madison avenue, there's no doubt that there's more of us than the art of them. but if you look at the narrow space where people are searching for this type of stuff, this is the world, this subculture, this niche, they radically outnumber everyone else is in a different message, a kind of counterterrorism message.
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>> i think we ought to have a robust discussion and attended that these companies that are now really on notice that the platforms are being abused. i think that they have to put policy and procedures in place, a lot of which we proposed, that limit adonijah build a terrorist to misuse these platforms. if they don't like it went to have some kind of the real robust discussion at some point that says to these platforms, they become mature support for these terrorist groups. >> watch "the communicators" tonight at 8 p.m. eastern on c-span2. >> all persons having business before the honorable the supreme court of the united states, draw near and give their attention. >> tonight on c-span's "landmark cases" we will look at the case of baker v. carr, the 1962 decision that ruled federal courts could intercede in dispute over reapportionment and the drug of election districts. chief justice earl warren called it the most important days of my tenure on the court.
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here's a portion of the oral argument. >> these 11 tennessee voters live in five of the largest cities of the tennessee. they are the intended and actual victims of a statutory scheme which devalues, reduces their right to vote to about one 20th of the value of the vote given to certain rural residents. >> by the early '20s century, population shifts in states like tennessee have majority of voters of rural areas move into the city, yet those rural districts with no small populations held voting power equal to the larger urban districts. the group of voters from nashville, memphis and knoxville challenge the disparity and took the case all the way to the supreme court in the case of baker v. carr became a major milestone in supreme court activism and has relevance today as the term one person one vote is still being debated are
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joining us in the discussion, theodore olson and douglas smith. that's live tonight at nine eastern on c-span, c-span3 and c-span radio. for background on each case while you watch order your copy of "landmark cases" companion book, available for $8.95 plus shipping and c-span.org/landmarkcases. >> c-span booktv the white house coverage continues now with florida republican senator margarita. he spoke last week at the republican jewish coalition presidential candidate forum for half an hour. ♪ ♪ >> thank you. thank you very much. thank you.
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thank you. i appreciate it. thank you. thank you for being brief, although i settled on the way out, you've only been alive for four years, how much is there to say? so thank you very much. we begin today by of course our thoughts, our prayers are with those that have been impacted by the attacks in california last i. we are still gathering details. we don't know all the facts yet but we certainly have learned some facts that are concerning and way undermines any estimate of what we see happening in the world. we begin with that acknowledgment in the understand that we live in a very different world than the one i grew up in. a world you grew up in. the world we had not long ago. i want to thank you. it's good to be back with you today that each time i've returned to this gathering the urgency of the topic at hand has increased since the year before. i believe that's true issue more than ever before. the threats facing our country and israel have grown
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dramatically in recent months. in large part, large part because our president has placed his own legacy ahead of our mutual security. but, of course, when we gather here a year from now we will have a new president-elect. and depending -- you can clap. [applause] depending on who that is, it will have either taken a significant step towards reviving american leadership in the world and in the process advancing israel's security, or we will have slipped further toward weakness and disengagement. i think one of the things that become most obvious over the last year is a devastating cost of foreign policy that lacks moral clarity. moral clarity means that we stand by our principles and our commitment. it means we speak up for what's right and speak out against those who are wrong. even if it opens us up to criticism. it means our allies trust us and
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our adversaries respect us. it's common sense that american leadership should look like this. in fact president across both parties have led with moral clarity, from kennedy to reagan, until now. now we have a president who leads our allies feeling betrayed, and our adversaries feeling emboldened. and there is no better example of that happening than what is happening now in the middle east. i always point out that in the entire region come in the entire middle east, there is only one pro-american free enterprise democratic nation, and that, of course, is a jewish state of israel. america has strong ties to israel on cultural, personal, political and economic levels. it is everything we wish and want the middle east to look like in the future.
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free, tolerant, democratic, peaceloving and desirous of a better future. antedate israel stance on the front lines of our civilizational struggle against radical apocalyptic islam. and his term a public to islam, it is not an attempt to be provocative. it is an attempt to be accurate. it is a descriptive of attributes of the leaders of both iran and the islamic state, that they are living in end times and the mass genocide is a better way to honor god. this enemy hates our two nations, both liberal democracies, both products of the judeo-christian tradition, for the exact same reason. and the first requirement of fighting for our common security is standing together. we must not suffer the threats to jerusalem and tel aviv from the threats of paris or london or new york or washington, or even miami. [applause]
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in fact i can think of no nation whose security this is closely tied to our own more than israel. for anytime there is daylight between america and israel, it emboldens israel's enemies to take action. first against the jewish state, but didn't against the rest of the free world. last month we saw how quickly care can spread from the middle east into the heart of europe. too many in washington fail to understand this. they wonder why we should trouble ourselves with a small country thousands of miles away. ..
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does in washington who wish america would abandon israel also understand something else the threat of physical violence isn't the only threat israel would be faced alone. there is a political and diplomatic threat. in one international form after another, israel was attacked by regime didn't even free nations throughout europe that should know better given their histories. it singled out relentlessly which no other nation is a subject and a change of the
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attackers and speak with confidence and clarity about the regimes that hijack international bodies to distract the world from their own wrongdoing. normally but not under barack obama. president barack obama and i'm afraid hillary clinton have a different policy. they call it an engagement that should be abandonment instead of singling to beat standing up to them the administration takes the path of least resistance and says not our problem. the president began a speech to the body by asking how long will this occupation of our land last after 67 years how long. as we all know 67 years ago as
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1948 the year of israel's creation just said that as a legitimate end of the state as an occupation of someone else's land. what matters is that it should have provoked a harsh condemnation from the united states. [applause] the government has emboldened those that seek themselves a bystander to a poisonous line of the terror attacks our administration has refused over and over again to do anything more than call on both sides for
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restraint between aggression and self-defense the attacks and threats of a spread to a campaign of anti-semitism into the recent approval of a new trade will that requires special labeling of products produced with the occupied territories the goal is to encourage to boycott goods from israel or china which occupies tibet they were singling out only israel and the very laws are being written into the wall for the
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first time in more than half a century. this is anti-semitism. [applause] [applause] hide behind the label of anti-israel we need a precedent that will call president that will call on that and i will be that president. [applause] there'll be there will be no more complicity attacks on israel into terrorist sponsors will be shamed. the united states will be funded entities that attack israel and promote anti-semitism.
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[applause] one example of the movement that calls itself boycott divestment and sanctions. this coalition of the radical left thinks that it has discovered a clever politically correct way to advocate israel's destruction and the language in the language of human rights and social justice. but this movement reeks of hypocrisy they do not seek to punish north korea, iran, russia it's aimed at israel. they make false accusations in the hopes of inciting so much hatred. it would become taboo. we would call on the university
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presidents and administrators and religious leaders and professors to speak on this issue the same way they speak about racism. [applause] calling for the destruction of israel is the same as calling for the death of jews. [applause] i will bring moral clarity to the white house and back it with strategic military strength. i will fortify our alliance with israel and i will send a message to our friends and enemies alike america is back and we will never confuse our adversaries for allies were allies for adversaries.
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i will immediately tried to steal that iran -- shred this deal with iran. the reports indicate iran will be required to come clean about its past nuclear work. this makes a bad deal worse and those are rushing to do that are rushing to do business need to know upon taking office i will reimburse the sanctions the president plans to wave over the congressional objection. [applause] the days of getting more respect than the pastor of israel will be over on my first day in office. [applause] i will hold iran accountable for the hostages and for the funding
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of terrorist groups into the groups like hezbollah and hamas will impose crippling the sanctions against the revolutionary guard corps. i will speak out against palestinian terror and i will never confuse a victim for the victimizer and this means part of rebuilding our alliance with israel i will put the peace process in perspective. there the obama and hillary clinton have made it the relationship between the two countries. it shouldn't be for the simple reason israel currently has no viable partner for peace. [applause] in fact the so-called partner that this administration claims is interested in peace, the so-called partner rewards palestinian terrorists with up
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to $3,500 for every month they spend in an israeli prison which is more than five times the average palestinian makes per month. they get more upon their release from prison and the entire level of payment is correctly tied to the number of israelis they have killed. does this sound to you like a group interested in peace? some in our own party in the news today have actually questioned the commitment to peace. some in our own party actually called for more sacrifice from the israeli people. they are dead wrong and they don't understand. [applause] they are dead wrong and they don't understand the bond between israel and america. generation after generation have struggled and sacrificed to find peace within with an enemy seeking only war and death. i know and honor the sacrifices
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and reject those of the belief that israel is an impediment to peace. let me be clear. there is no moral equivalence between israel and its enemies. [applause] and i will say it again. there is no equipment between israel and those that seek to destroy her understanding the fundamental truth is essential to being the next commander-in-chief. this isn't a deal where two sides argue over money and i will challenge the would challenge the impediments to peace and stand up for israel instead of pressuring to make unreciprocated confessions will work with a the minister on areas of mutual interest and i will move our embassy from tel aviv to jerusalem. [applause]
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i will help assure that jerusalem remains the capital. [applause] i will revive the commonsense understandings reached in the 2004 bush weather and build on them to help ensure israel and i will build on them to make sure they have defensible borders including who has continued control of the heights. [applause] and this is only the beginning of what i will do in support of israel but it's far from the beginning of my efforts on this issue is a as a public servant throughout my time in the senate i have worked to strengthen and deepen our alliance. just recently i passed sanctions against hezbollah. last year i passed a budget amendment to make the embassy to tel aviv to jerusalem and i thought to require iran to recognize the right to exist.
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i've proposed crushing sanctions on iran for its ongoing support for tigger was on and human rights abuses. [applause] >> as the speaker of the florida house i pioneered what became a national effort by requiring the pension program to divest from companies linked to the terrorist regime. [applause] and earlier this week i entered a stay resolution with senator kirk to ensure states like florida can continue to divest from iran. [applause] also led efforts in the senate to pressure the palestinian authority to end its partnership with hamas and i attempted to be funded agencies that attack israel and support legislation to force europe to stop its despicable anti-semitic boycotting of its products. [applause] and i have been a staunch
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supporter of our military assistance to jewish state especially the iron dome system that has saved countless lives. [applause] these programs have ended up benefiting america by leading to the technological innovations used by the u.s. military itself. in choosing a president we need to look at what candidates do and not just what they say. just a few short years ago many in my own party were trying to derail the postwar consensus about america's role in the world. they will never call themselves isolationists but that is exactly what they are. i believe those that speak about the views of carefully separate the gutting of the international affairs budget including assistance to israel or who vote against legislation funding the defense program.
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you cannot keep pro- israel while also keeping what they use to defend themselves. i would like to be time to take questions. one thing that inspires me about israel is in the face of so much adversity there is no nation that wants peace more. even as the current administration turned their back on them in recent years, no people has divided nation on issue after issue more than the people of israel. i encourage all of you to go back and look at the united nations roll call vote. time and again when the interests of america are challenged to israel is one of the few countries that vote with the united states over and over again. like our own country, the state of israel is an extraordinary story in the history of the
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world. i believe our nations share a moral foundation and a common moral destiny. let us stand with them as they have stood with us. let the nations together serve as beacons of light in an ever darkening world. thank you for having me today. [applause] >> yes, we have nine minutes. >> we have about nine minutes for some questions and these are questions that we have curated over the last week or so from our members and attendees across the country. the troubling thing is that you answered about 85% of them in the course of your terrific speech so we are going to try to find some things we can address that you haven't touched on the first of all obviously you laid
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out a very concrete set of proposals and a vision for your foreign policy as president. you need a team to assist you once you become president. can you share with the group some of the folks who would consider to be that secretary of state in your administration lacks >> i think that it's peanuts were to begin to cite specific individuals suffice it to say i do bb didn't have a public and party and across the conservative movement we have a handful of new voices that are very strong on the issues i care deeply about and it's important. the secretary often times if you appoint the wrong person becomes captive to the foreign service and professional bureaucracy and the state department. people that have been there for a long time to think they can wait you out sometimes flat-out ignore your orders in the implementation undermined the directive of the president in the white house so the most elite cup was important thing you need is a strong leader who becomes the president's representative at the state department not the state
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department's representative to the president. [applause] in that context it has to be someone that shares our view. at the world is a safer and better place and america is the strongest place in the world. [applause] and when people hear me say that they say does that mean military engagement? they underestimate the amount that america has beyond its military capabilities. most certainly the military capabilities are important but they are not the only source of power that america has. america is the only nation on earth that can convene collective action. what you are seeing now is an example of it. we haven't spent enough time describing the true nature of isis and the secretary needs to be someone that understands that. they have a monthly publication that an online publication i don't encourage you to subscribe because then people might wonder about you. but it's not some name they pulled out of a hat.
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it's the name of the village of a small city in this syria and they named that because it up because according to their interpretation of prophecy, the belief that there is going to be a final apocalyptic showdown between the west and islam in the city. they believe it is their calling to trigger this apocalyptic showdown and therefore when they recruit fighters but they are recruiting them for is to be part of this army that is going to trigger the showdown between the west and islam and then the whole world will be governed under the senate rules led by the emergence of their figure. why is this important for us to understand and why is that important for the next secretary of state to understand because when you understand you realize these are not people that you can negotiate with or that are going to go out of business or that are disgruntled or unemployed or upset because
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american troops are deployed in iraq these are individuals with an apocalyptic vision of the future and they will not stop unless they feel that they have succeeded in triggering this apocalypse. if it is similar to the views held by the ayatollah in iran so when seven people that have an apocalyptic vision of the future are growing in their capabilities in the case of isis or try to acquire a nuclear weapon in the case of iran do understand why it doesn't work and isis has no chance of working either they win only when. there is no other possible outcome. [applause] the next secretary of state better understand this. >> if i can i would like to probe into having you share with us how you philosophically approach an issue. obviously it's not easy decisions important to the tough
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decisions and you have been criticized by your opponents because it advocated the removal of a al-assad in syria and others are taking out saddam hussein and opposed removing qadhafi. how do do you weigh out the charges and the balance between the issues of human rights versus stability? >> we need to have foresight about what these things will mean if we do nothing about them and al-assad is an example of them. we didn't start the uprising. the uprising was everyday civilians not jihad is to initially it was made up of mostly sudanese who rebuild against a minority that they felt had been brutal and discriminatory. i repeatedly warned if we didn't identify the non- jihad is to
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get help in power the vacuum would be created and would created and would be filled only vacuums are always filled in the middle east made up of foreign fighters and that's what happened they were either defeated or killed or exiled. then isis took off into vacuum has been filled by the group and used as an operational space to spread into iraq and they are beginning to grow in afghanistan to the complete conducting attacks on lebanon and they're coming out and they've been very clear that the global caliphate they want to establish. as long as bush or al-assad is empowered you can have two things number one indents the serbs in the region with but someone that is actively
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facilitating active terrorism in that region and an irritant that creates the next conditions for the next isis to emerge as a fundamental and simplistic and dangerous misunderstanding as long as someone like al-assad remains in power as a proxy state they can control and also that will serve as irritant that will allow the next radical group to rise up so you need president president with a foresight to understand this that doesn't just understand what's in front of you but what it is going to turn into if you don't do something about it.
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i warned about the premature withdrawal of the troops in afghanistan and about what would have been in the the aftermath of the drawdown in iraq and syria. it shows what can happen when america fails to lead. o-oscar we have one' have one minute left let me ask a follow-up about the money the palestinian authority uses to support the families of terrorists and could we get hundreds of millions of dollars to the palestinians what you conditioned further u.s. aid specifically on the cessation of them funding the attack? pigheaded intro such -- that is an atrocious acts.
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what about the indoctrination of children -- [applause] when you have a governing authority whose curriculum is built on instilling in their children's hatred for jews and how glorious it is how can you possibly hope for peace when you have an organization that teaches children that killing people because they are jewish is a glorious thing that should be held up as an attribute how can you possibly consider them a partner for peace so i would say the payment. israel has a partner for peace in this conflict i wish it were different and so do the israelis. so in the absence what we must ensure its stability and security and to hopefully at some point in our history in the future perhaps partner will emerge but we don't have one now. [applause] >> a big round of applause.
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[applause]
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you look at the world and if you look at the production of the media worldwide in hollywood and madison avenue there is no doubt there's more of us than there are of them but if you look at the no space where people are searching for this type of stuff in this type of sub world and subculture they outnumber everyone else for sending a different message. we ought to have a robust discussion in the united states but the company is are now really unnoticed platforms are being abused. they have the policies and procedures in place a lot of which we proposed that limit and denied the ability.
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if they don't we have to have a robust discussion at some point do these patterns become the material for the terrorist groups. >> all persons having business before the honorable supreme court of the united states to get their attention. we look at the case baker versus car car but will the federal courts could intercede the disputes over the reapportionment of the drawing of election districts. the chief justice called it the most important case of my tenure on the court via here's a portion of the actual argument. >> v. is a loving voters lived in five of the largest cities in tennessee. they are the intended as a
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statutory scheme which reduces the right to vote for one 20th of the value given to certain requisites. by the early 20th century population shifts in and states that tennessee had a majority of voters from rural areas move into the cities. to get those districts with now smaller populations help voting or equal to the larger districts. so a group of voters from nashville, memphis and knoxville challenged the disparity and took their case all the way to the supreme court. the case of baker v. car became a milestone in activism and has continuing relevance today as the term one person one vote is still being debated. joining us in the discussion theodore olson to u.s. solicitor general and douglas smith author of our democracy's doorstep the inside story of how the supreme court brought one person one vote to the united states. that is live tonight at nine
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eastern on c-span, c-span three and c-span radio. for background on each case order your copy of landmark cases available for $8.95 plus shipping and c-span.org/ landmarkcases. ..
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>> good afternoon and welcome. that's what a to be back at the national war college. at such a fight institutions. it's a privilege to join today to introduce the chairman of homeland security chairman, chairman mccaul. a fourth generation texan and so that the world war ii veteran is currently serving his sixth term representing texas tech edition which covers from austin to houston. in january he entered his fourth year as the chairman. this committee has oversight of the department of homeland security ensuring its able to carry out its core mission of protecting the american people from terrorist attacks. he also serves on the committee of foreign affairs working national security your under the chairman's leadership the homeland security committee has made quite the marker and one of the 14th congress. issue the committee has passed 55 bills, 25 of which came from
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freshman members. 40 bills were passed the house, almost half from freshman and seven have become law. the homeland security committee legislation accounts for 10% of public law this year. this is the result of leadership and teamwork of chairman mccaul and his committee. it also stops a bipartisan congressional task force in combating terrorists and foreign fighter travel. the finest of which have helped our national security. he is also the cofounder and co-chair of the congressional high-tech caucus and the cybersecurity caucus. under his tenure the committee has led the way for cyber policy sharing and get between him and industry as resolve the growing dark probably face against our nation's adversary. he is responsible for creating the hope act which was signed by the president and became law in october 2012 creating incentives for pharmaceutical coverage great new treatments for pediatric cancer patient the chairman mccaul co-chairs the congressional childhood cancer caucus which he found shortly after he was elected to
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congress. he is well-versed in counterterrorism operations the people running for congress he served as the chief of counterterrorism and national security in the u.s. attorney's office for the western district of texas. he let the joint terrorism task force. is also served as the texas deputy attorney general and as a federal prosecutor in the department of justice public integrity section in washington, d.c. chairman mccaul artist this d.c. chairman mccaul or does business and history majors from trinity university and holds a jd from st. mary's university school of law. he is also a graduate of the scene executive fellows program of the school of government at harvard. chairman and mrs. linda mccaul to get have earned a -- as proud parents of five teenagers, including triplets. thank you again for joining us today your ladies and gentlemen, chairman michael mccaul. [applause]
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thank you, trembling. thank you, colonel concentrate on what he thank you for your service, to the committee and to our country, and you serve well. i want to thank you for the. thank you for mentioning my five teenagers at home. we have some domestic terrorism issues of our own. [laughter] i want to thank a few people here today. i don't have a list in front of me but i know that former attorney general ed meese here today. i want to thank you for your service and for being here. [applause] as he was leaving the justice department i was coming in as a young prosecutor come and he served us well. thanks for being a. want to recognize john from my committee who chaired the foreign fighter task force, did great work and nick who served with distinction in vietnam and served with me and my committee very well over the years. and there are others but i want
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to thank the national defense university for hosting this, and the national war college. i can't think of a better place to give these remarks. they are sobering, and at the state of homeland security. i picked this day for several reasons. it's the anniversary of pearl harbor, and my father was a world war ii veteran, serving in the european theater as a bombardier on a b-17. is mission was part of the air campaign for the d-day invasion. at 74 years ago today, japanese forces struck the united states naval base at pearl harbor to describe by president roosevelt as a day that will live in infamy. that dark they ended up giving rise to the greatest generation and inspired young americans like my father who serve our country in uniform. a long struggle between the forces of freedom and oppression followed, punctuated by many
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pivotal years. today we are engaged in another generational struggle. and this year was the turning point. just last week terrorists struck again on american soil, attacking our nation from within and committing their deeds in the name of isis, the new standard bearer of the oil. -- old. make no mistake and we are a nation at war. 14 years after 9/11 the fight against islamist terror rages on. under averages have opened up new battleground across the world. our own city streets are now the front lines. indeed, san bernardino was not an isolated event. terrorists are on the offensive working to deploy operatives to our shores, and to radicalize our citizens to commit acts of violence. so i was disappointed last night when the president failed to lay out any new steps to fight this
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threat. instead, he doubled down on a strategy of hesitancy and half measures. this should not just be a wakeup call. it should be a call to action. for far too long we have allowed extremists to reclaim their momentum, surging from terror cells in a full-fledged terrorist armies. as a result i believe the state of our homeland is decreasingly not secure. and i believe 2015 will be seen as a watershed year in this long war. they year when our enemies gain an upper hand, and when the spread of care once again awoke the west. this september my committee held a first effort congressional hearing after 9/11 memorial at ground zero. it sits on hallowed ground, consecrated by the loss of thousands of innocent americans, and by the sacrifice of those who worked to save their lives.
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and in their honor we vowed to never forget, never forget that day, but we are beginning to repeat the mistakes of the past. we are not acting early enough to keep the terrorist groups from spreading. and there are some in washington who are in denial about the threat that we face. and 2013 president obama announced a global war on terror was effectively over. ironically just weeks before his speech, al-baghdadi announced the formation of isis. in january 2014, only days after isis and dated fallujah, the president dismissed the group as a jv team of terror. that same month communism secretary of homeland security, and i deeply respect, agreed with me that the jihadists in syria were becoming the largest, most significant threat to the homeland. and earlier this year in his
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state of the union address, the president touted his drawdown of american forces overseas and declared, quote, the shadow of crisis has passed. only a month later the director of national intelligence announced that the previous year had been the deadliest in the history of global terrorism. indeed, the presence words came only weeks after the shocking "charlie hebdo" attacks in paris. and when i recently met with french counterterrorism officials overseas, i assure you they did not think the shadow of crisis had passed or that the global war on terror was over. last month the president claimed isis was contained, only days before its operatives launched the deadliest attack on french soil since world war ii. and last week the president said america was safe from isis, safe
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from and isis, the same morning the san bernardino terrorists conducted their massacre. i've had enough. we cannot be blind to the threat before us. isis is not contained. it is expanding at a great cost to the free world. in november the crude managed to conduct three major terrorist attacks on three separate continents in just three weeks -- the group. this is not a terrorist group on the run. it is a terrorist group on the march your and their ability to conduct external operations is growing. isis has been linked to more than 60 terror plots or attacks against western targets. it has established a presence in 19 countries and it has recruited operatives for more than 100 nations. creating the largest global convergence of jihadists in
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world history. isis is now more dangerous than al-qaeda ever was under osama bin laden. and its tentacles have spread into the west, including into the united states. yet the prejudice national saturday strategy released this year outlined a doctrine of strategic patience for confronting threats. this is reckless. america cannot adopt a wait-and-see approach while the world burns and while terrorists plot within our borders. we are called upon to lead. it was president reagan who said that weakness invites aggression. and it was president kennedy before him that declared america would pay any price, bear any burden, to secure our free society. but today our allies believe we are uncertain, reluctant to lead, and eager to please the burdens on someone else.
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this kind of indecision is the decision itself. if the greatest generation is that it on its hands while fascm and communism spread, the world would not be recognizable today. in the same way it will let islamist terrorism gain further ground we'll be talking about a struggle that lasts more than just a generation. from the streets of paris to the skies of egypt, we have been reminded of the destructive power of this movement and the insidious ideology that fuels it. we have also been reminded that delay can be deadly. when we see care in western cities, which isis declares new provinces, when millions of additional refugees flood the shores of our allies it would be further proof that connection has serious consequences. in fact, i believe it is
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leadership void has put the united states homeland in the highest threat environment since 9/11. the fbi is investigating nearly 1000 homegrown terror cases, most of which are isis related, across all 50 states. already federal authorities have arrested over 70 isis supporters in our country. that's more than one per week over the last year. and if you add san bernardino to the list, there have now been 19 isis connected terror plots or attacks here at home. these include plans to murder for us on florida beaches, to set up pipe bombs on capitol hill, to detonate explosives at new york city landmarks, and delights in an attack at an american college campus. the overall uptick in extremist activity has made 2015 the
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single most active year for homegrown terror we have ever seen. in fact there were more homegrown terror cases in the first six months of 2015 than any full year since 9/11. our intelligence and law enforcement professionals have stopped many attacks. however, in a world where terror has gone viral, we are struggling to monitor every threat. and as we saw in garland, texas, the first sign of a hatched plot might be and internet hashtag. tweeted only minutes before an attack. as we saw in san bernardino, it may be a facebook status pledging allegiance to terrorist posted online with little notice, or it may be like a chattanooga terrorist rampage where the shooter gave no hints before taking the lives of the united states service members. this is why we need to focus on
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preventing radicalization as much as we need to focus on stopping active terrorism cells. the message of groups like isis is either come to syria to join the fight, or kill where you are. yet these administration is not doing enough to keep americans from being brainwashed by groups like isis. that is too little outreach to vulnerable communities. there'there is virtually no efft here at home to combat terrorist propaganda directed at our citizens. and our few credible off ramps to peel radicalized young people away from the path of terrorist violence. this is unacceptable. americans are being recruited by terrorist groups at the speed of broadband, while we are responding at the speed of bureaucracy. our committee unanimously
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approved bipartisan legislation to accelerate prevention efforts in the homeland. in the wake of the shooting in california, i am working to get this bill particularly past. we also need to do everything we can to block the terrorist pathways into our country, and to keep americans away from terrorists safe havens. that is why earlier this you of launched a bipartisan congressional task force on combating terrorists and foreign fighter travel. in their final report the task force concluded that the united states government has largely failed to stop americans from going overseas to join extremists. and they identified gaping security weaknesses which allowed terrorists to cross borders undetected. more than 30,000 individuals from around the world have become foreign fighters in syria, and over 5000 of them have western passports which make it easier to get into the
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united states. and as we saw in paris, some are being sent back to conduct attacks. more than 250 americans have also sought to join the fight. and close to 50 have already come home. some have been arrested on terrorism charges, while others could be ticking time bombs. we must do more urgently to shut down the jihadists superhighway to and from the conflict zone. it is just simply too easy to get there. want american who fought on the front lines said, quote, i just went online and bought the ticket. it was that easy. it was like booking a flight to miami beach. it's also disturbingly easy to get back. the mastermind of the terrorist attacks bragged on isis online magazine saying, quote, i was able to leave and, despite being chased after so many intelligence services.
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i led a congressional delegation in the middle east and europe, and so the security loopholes firsthand in places like the istanbul airport, a dean obeidallah hub for foreign fighters come and throughout western europe. we found widespread failures. many countries were not screening travelers against terrorist watch list. they were not checking passports for fraud. and didn't have access to the intelligence they needed to stop. our task force issued over 50 recommendations for fixing these vulnerabilities in america and overseas. and today i'm pleased to announce we are turning these recommendations into law. we are starting with a bill this week to tighten the visa waiver program, which allows travelers from 38 countries to come to the united states 490 days without getting a visa.
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-- 90 days. think about that. the majority of paris attackers at western passports. with those western passports they could get into the united states without a visa. this bill has grown bipartisan support on the gleeful address the problem identified. this bill will also force high-risk individuals who have been into terrorist hotspots to go through a more rigorous screening process before coming to america. it will strengthen intelligence information sharing with our allies which is lacking to end it will crack down on passport fraud. it will also force visa waiver countries to wrap up counterterrorism screening of travelers. but this is just the beginning. over the coming weeks we were introduced a slate of new bills passed on the findings of the task force to keep terrorists from crossing our borders. this will include enhancing the security of the visa process
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developing a national strategy to combat terrorist travel, improving information sharing here at home, and helping foreign partners address security weaknesses. we will push forward as well legislation to enhance airport security, industry minded homeland security into a more focused counterterrorism organization. our government must also move swiftly for the screening of the syrian and iraqi refugees. isis has said in own words that they want to exploit the refugee process to infiltrate the west. and they did exactly that with the attack in paris. i can't reveal to date -- i can reveal today that the united states government has information to indicate that individuals tied to terrorist groups in syria have already attempted to gain access to our country through the u.s. refugee program. accordingly, i drafted legislation to create the most
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robust national security vetting process in u.s. history to the screen syrian and iraqi refugees the and passed the house with a bipartisan veto proof majority. in light of the threats we face, i urge the senate to act on our legislation, and for the president to sign it. they are not only disguising their travel today protection, they are also concealing their communications. no longer to terrorist plot by using triggers. today they hide their messages in what's called dark space, using encrypted applications and other secure platforms to evade law enforcement and intelligence services. this is one of the greatest counterterrorism challenges of the 21st century. it is one of the biggest fears that keeps me up at night. when the administration says
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there are no known credible threats to the homeland, it means less today than it once did. because we cannot stop what we cannot see. terrorists -- paris was a perfect example to the terrorist reportedly used secured communications and they managed to stay under the radar. we should be careful not to go find encrypted itself which is essential for privacy data security and global commerce, but i have personally been briefed on cases where terrorism communicated in darkness when we couldn't see the communications. we couldn't shine a light on these communications, even with a lawful warrant. unfortunately, there are no simple answers to this complex problem. and this is more than a privacy versus security challenge. it is a security versus security challenge. our legislative a knee-jerk
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reaction could weaken internet protections and privacy for everyday americans. but doing nothing put american lives at risk and makes it easier for terrorists and criminals to escape justice. it is time for congress to act because the white house has failed to bring all parties together to find solutions. that is why today i am calling for the creation of a national commission on security and technology challenges in the digital age. i plan to unveil legislation soon that would establish this commission under congressional authorization and would bring together the technology sector, privacy, and civil liberty groups, academics, and the law enforcement community to find common ground. this will not be like other blue ribbon panels and established and forgotten. the threats are real. so this legislation will require the commission to develop a
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range of actionable recommendations to protect privacy and public safety at the same time. and, finally, and most importantly, we must recognize the best homeland defense is a good offense. we will not win the war against islamist terror into we take the fight to the enemy, and deprived them of their safe havens. this was the top recommendation of the 9/11 commission. yet we have failed to live up to it. we need to drain the swamp in syria anorak, or the swamp will come to us. unfortunately, the present lacks a coherent military strategy and he is tied our generals hands behind their backs. indeed, right now we have a policy of containment. a winning strategy is to defeat and destroy isis come and to provide the resources that do
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exactly that. these are the immediate steps we need to take to turn the tide. first, we must remove the limitation that have kept estimating isis as hard as we can. this means a loosening, loosening the rules of engagement from the air, letting our special operation forces get directly involved in the fight, and arming opposition groups more quickly and completely. second, we must carve out -- protect the moderate opposition and to alleviate the humanitarian crisis. i spoke with the ambassadors from turkey, iraq, jordan and saudi arabia, and they agree with me that we need a no-fly zone over parts of syria to provide safe don't wear refugees can be relocated and protected. third, the united states must lead a broader global coalition on the ground to destroy isis in
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syria, and one that includes nato and features deeper involvement from our regional allies. and this includes our sunni air partners who must help build an indigenous ground force to clean up their own backyard and to protect their own religion from these fanatics. we must also deal with russia. after the downing of the russian airliner i hope mr. putin chooses to engage more constructively. he has a serious homeland security issues of his own, and we have a shared interest in fighting islamist terror. but before we think about working more closely with the russians, strict conditions must be met. mr. putin needs to push assad.
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only then can moscow become a potential partner in destroying isis. in the end though, our military strategy must be combined with the political strategy to end this conflict. last month negotiators in vienna brokered an 18 month timeline for free elections in syria. while i am skeptical about whether this plan will succeed, we can't give up. this crisis point ends when the syrian people have we taken their country and can provide a level of security needed to clear extremists from their territory. sadly, we will still need to go further. since the president failed to develop and on the ground plan to confront isis, we now need and around the globe strategy to defeat them. this is no longer just about syria and iraq. it's about stopping the march of
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crisis across northern africa, keeping you from getting a foothold in south asia and preventing countries like afghanistan from falling back to the darkness. yet in all these places, president obama is more inclined to tell us what he will not do rather than what he will. that is why we need a global strategy to win the war against islamist terror. and a president prepared to commit the resources and political will to make it a reality. -- targeting of our people cannot stand in return for barbaric violence we must be prepared to deliver justice. it has been said that who we are is who we were. everyone in this room is tied to the greatest generation, an era of americans who showed unblockable courage while staring down people as it spread
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across the globe. we cannot forget their courage is our heritage. it is a distinct element of the american spirit. it is not enough though for us to have inherited their valor. as we embark on another long generational struggle, we must also summon the resolve. and that means we cannot be satisfied with quick victories and temporary safety in the war against islamist terror. we must be prepared to keep radicals on the run and stop them from passing the torch to a new generation of terrorists. my father was a bombardier in world war ii and flew missions against the nazis in preparation for the d-day invasion. i had the distinct honor to visit normandy last may with the congressional delegation, and lay a brief as they played taps
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among the white crosses as we went to omaha beach to see where 3000 american soldiers were killed, deceit point awkwardly climbed the cliffs to defeat the nazis, one of the most inspiring powerful emotional moments of my lifetime. and while i know the brave men like him that won that war, it taught me to is our nation's fortitude that won the peace. last month the president said that he was, quote, not interested in pursuing some notion of american leadership or america winning in this long war. ..
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[applause] >> at this time we'd like to take some questions from the audience. if you have a question, please stand up for the chairman, and we'll address them. thank you. [inaudible conversations] >> hi. dave kerr from politico. i wonder if i could ask you to address a little bit more the commission. it seems like you're portraying the problem of encryption as a problem of smart people not talking, but most of the smart people involved in making encryption are saying there's nothing to talk about, any weakening of it will be exploited by hackers, so there's
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really no further debate worth having. respond to that. >> and that's a great question. yeah, i've sort of played the role of subtle diplomacy, if you will, between federal law enforcement, the intelligence community and silicon valley. it's a very complex issue. i think one that initially lawmakers thought there's an easy legislative fix where we just amend the statute until we found out providing a back door on everybody's iphone was not going to be a very good strategy. not only would it provide a back door for the government, but also for hackers. so you've noticed the language of the fbi director and the language of the secretary of homeland security has shifted to trying to find a technology solution to this problem. i will not, i will not tell you it's an easy solution. but i've had very in-depth
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discussions that i do believe there are alternatives, there are some solutions to this problem. and i think the inherent problem and the reason why i'm advocating the formation of this commission is because of the reluctance of both parties to sit in the same room together. and so what this legislation provides, in fact, it will mandate that the parties, all relevant parties sit in the same room together, and in a very short period of time, provide the congress with solutions and legislative recommendations to deal with what i consider, as i said in my remarks, one of the most difficult challenges of this century in dealing with counterterrorism and, basically, criminal behavior. if we don't do anything, title iii chiropractor t.a.r.p.es and fisas -- wiretaps and fisas will become a thing of the past. when we saw the encrypted apps
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on the terrorists' iphones, when numerous co-conspirators of foreign fighters from syria can do something like that and it's completely under the radar screen, we know why it went undetected. it went undetected because they were commune candidating in the dark -- communicating in the dark space, in a place we can't shine a light on to see these communications even if we have a court order. we must solve this problem. and i agree with you, it's not an easy one to solve. i've sat down with top experts like keith al zahner, one with of brightest minds on this issue. but i do believe that the first step is getting them, forcing them to get together in the same room to work out ott these differences -- out these differents and find a solution. i can't say that i have all the solutions to the problem. but i know that the experts know how to get there, and i think that's what this legislation will provide.
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>> next up, the gentleman -- [inaudible] >> david smith of the guardian. a couple questions. you mentioned new evidence about people with ties to isis trying enter the u.s. through the refugee program. do you have any further details on that? and a second question is would you categorically rule out a major ground force in iraq and syria, or is that a debate worth having? >> these are two different issues. the refugee crisis is the lack of status of forces agreement and failure to engage maliki in any political dialogue and, thereby disenfranchising the population even more. we saw them drop their weapons in mosul because they didn't
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want to fight isis. the refugee problem is just a symptom of that. we were briefed earlier this week by the intelligence community, and i don't want to get into specifics to protect my sources, but by the intelligence community that, in fact, syrians, isis syrians, you know, isis members in syria have attempted to exploit it to get into the united states. that was very courageous for them to come forward with this to tell me about this personally given the political debate on the hill with the syrian refugee bill. i think it demonstrates why that bill is so important. if we now have direct evidence and intelligence that they -- not only to infiltrate europe which is easier to do, but to infiltrate to get into the united states, to me, that's very disturbing.
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we won't resolve the problem of the refugee crisis until we deal -- you know, when i talk to the sunni-arab nations and the ambassadors, they want to know that we have a strategy. they say, mr. chairman, we'll put a ground force in, the turks, jordanians, saudi, they'll put a ground force in, but they want assurances we have a military objective and that assad has been to be a part of the solution. and the political situation has to be resolved on the ground. and until we have that strategy, we're going to continue to have this problem. i also urged the gulf states to take these refugees. so all these ambassadors agreed that a protected zone, if you will, in syria through a no-fly was the best way to deal with the refugees so they don't leave syria. refugee, by definition, is somebody that wants to go back to their country. if they come to europe or the
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united states, they'll never return. i also implored the saudis and the gulf states to take these refugees. they have the wherewithal. these are sunni-arabs fleeing from assad and isis primarily. they claim that they have taken refugees, but it's a bit of a political spin on their part because, in fact, what they've taken in are really guest workers, not, in fact, refugees coming out of syria. and so what's happened? turkey has over two million, jordan has over a million. jordan can't absorb this, and now europe has half a million unvetted ref pew gees pouring into -- refugees pouring into europe. we know that two of the paris attackers exploited those refugee routes to get into, back into europe. and how many more are out there? you don't know what you don't know. >> hi --
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[inaudible] thank you for doing this today. i wanted to ask a little bit more, you said that you're maybe going to address some future bills -- [inaudible] the possibility of more vetting with the visa waiver program, any other bills you want to talk about in the future? >> yeah. you know, basically, i think one of biggest highlights, and i want to thank the chairman for his work on it, there's no national strategy to deal with combating terrorism in foreign fighters. we don't have a strategy. so i think you're going to see a bill in the near future that deals with that issue. combating violent extremism, another bill that we passed unanimously out of our committee. it is not a priority or focus within the administration to basically combat violent extremism. so what am i talking about?
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it's a radicalization from within. the warning signs. the boston bomber was so radical that he was kicked out of his mosque by his imam, and yet we didn't know about that. there are always in every one of these cases when you go back and look at 'em, there are early signs and flags and warning signs of radicalization. so we need greater community outreach. it may not be the government itself. when i was a federal prosecutor be, i'd walk into a mosque with the fbi. it's a chilling effect. what we need is our community leaders engaged working with the public/private partnership to engage these communities in the muslim communities to identify early signs of radicalization. there is no priority to do this right now in this country. in fact, when we lookedded at the total -- looked at the total manpower within the department of homeland security, we have less than two dozen federal employees even working on the issue. now, in fairness to jeh johnson, he's started to elevate this
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program. but i think this bill whether we pass it on the floor or put it in the omnibus would be, you know with, a great step forward. and i think the dark space issue is one of the most complex, dangerous issues out there. we're not even looking at their communications. when they radicalize and get a hook on to them, on the internet they say let's go to another messaging box, and then let's go into tour, or let's go into these dark platforms. at that point even if we have a fisa or a title iii wiretap, which i used to do, we can't see the communications at all. all we see is encrypted space. so point to point we know someone in raqqa is talking to someone in paris or belgium or washington, d.c. or new york, but we can't see what they're saying. and if you can't see what they're saying, you can't stop it. so when they say there's no
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specific and credible threat, that's what we don't know. and what is communicated in the dark space that we don't know right now as i speak that could be plotting a terrorist attack like a paris-style attack? i have been a critic of this administration for downplaying the threat. i think the campaign narrative has been all along to get out of iraq and afghanistan and shut down guantanamo, and when isis reared its ugly head, he couldn't get his head wrapped around that issue, because it wasn't supposed to happen. the supposed to go away. it was supposed to go away. but you can't wish it away, and you can't put your head in the sand. you have to confront evil where it exists, and that's what we have failed, i think, as a nation to lead in a post-world war ii, the superpar, lead -- superpower, lead as a superpower to get the coalition of forces to defeat one of the greatest evils in my lifetime.
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>> is there a hand up on right? [inaudible] >> hi, good afternoon, i'm with the center for -- [inaudible] your comment on the foreign fighters, you mentioned foreign fighters and americans going back to the u.s. are either being arrested or ticking time bombs, is there anything being done to -- [inaudible] people that come back that we could maybe use -- [inaudible] kind of radicalization platform? >> yeah. without getting into too many of what the fbi does investigatively, obviously, in my career we would follow people. you know, you get to a certain point where you have to take down the individual. but prior to the takedown, there is certain intelligence value to monitor and follow them. so with the 50 that have
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returned, the ones that we can charge with due process under the constitution we do, and for the ones that we can't, we monitor them. and in monitoring them, we do gain great intelligence value in doing that. but once they get to a certain point, we have to take them down which is why you've seen, again, over 70 isis-related arrests over the past year, because, you know, the fbi and homeland have decided to go in and take out the threat before it could, you know, they could attack americans. and so it's a delicate balance. you know, a lot of my constituents say why aren't t you just rolling all of them up and throwing them in jail, but we have the constitution. you can't just arrest people and throw them in jail without evidence. and, you know, and some of these people were not quite sure what they were doing over there. were they working with doctors
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without borders, or were they doing something more nefarious? since we don't have the intelligence adequate to know what they were doing, this is the whole problem. you don't know what you don't know. with the syrian ref pew gees, we don't though anything about these people because we have no databases in syria, we have no intelligence on the ground. we're getting better intelligence now in syria. unfortunately, the russians are blowing it up. they don't have rules of engagement. but there is, to answer your question, a very good intelligence value to monitoring an individual without the proper predicate to arrest but enough to monitor them with predication to monitor their communications. but, again, if they're going into a dark platform with an app, we can't see what they're saying. and, you know, this is a new phenomenon. we used to think about couriers, we were looking at foreign
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fighters who could do a more sophisticated attack about paris, but what do you do about the guy that's radicalizing over the internet in the united states in a dark platform where you can't see what they're saying? and it's very pervasive. these are -- they're in their 20s. they're a young, sophisticated social media organization that have gone viral. i-maid hussein was only 23 years old to. he was the one who did attacks on new york plots, he was one sending out all the directives to kill, to come to syria or kill where you are, kill military. he was taken out by an airstrike, but his wife is still alive, and there are others that have replaced him that form sort of cyber jihadist army, if you will, out of internet cafés in raqqa. and you look at 200,000 isis tweets per day that are going around the world, this is not
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just a european/u.s. problem, it's a global phenomenon. and it's spreading at broadband speed. >> time for one last question. >> we'll take a few more. [laughter] >> dealing with the cybersecurity issue, you talk about the trend and, obviously -- [inaudible] much broader cyber challenge and often people talk that avoiding the next cyber pearl harbor. so thank you for your leadership on cybersecurity. would you want to expand a little bit about some of the challenges there? >> i focused on the islamist, sir, but the cyber threat, you know, terrorists, san bernardino, some of these could be one to two-man operations. a cyber attack, if done right as an act of cyber warfare, could
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be devastating and the consequences far more severe in terms of what they can -- the capability to bring things down. so we have the criminal theft of ip, we have the espionage. we know that china attacked opm and stole 20 million security clearances, greatest act of espionage by a nation-state against the united states in the cyberspace. no response to that. other than a couple of meet beings with them to -- meetings with them to work things out. but it's the power grids, it's the stock exchange, financial sector, energy sector all tied to the internet. we are tied more to the internet than any other nation and, therefore, we are most vulnerable to a cyber attack because of that. we are in a conference with the senate as i speak to pass an information-sharing bill that will allow both the federal
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government and the private sector to share these malicious codes with liability protection which is a key, and it's a voluntary program, but to share these codes in a safe harbor within the civilian portal of the department of homeland security. we're hopeful this would be the biggest, most significant cyber legislation ever passed by the congress, and it needs to be done now because the threat is so severe that if we don't pass it now, we are going to get hit. sony attack was very destructive , iran's in our financial sector all the time, russian organized criminal activity, target, home depot attacks. it's finally getting the attention from the american people it deserves. and, again, the senate -- we're trying to get to the middle ground between the house and the senate right now as i speak, and i'm on optimistic that we'll get there. butst absolutely critical that
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we pass it. and the white house, or you know, i've been critical of them in my speech, but on this issue i must say the white house has been very, a very good partner in trying to get this accomplished. >> the other last question. [laughter] >> [inaudible] i was wondering, you talked about how -- [inaudible] is playing out in our streets and also the directive to -- [inaudible] as we've seen with san bernardino and throughout the last two years with the attacks on u.s. military bases and -- [inaudible] the white house has proposed using -- [inaudible] try to keep guns out of the hands of terrorists x. you know a lot about the way these things work. is there some version that you
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think we could use to try to accomplish that? >> well, let me say, first, when -- and i used to prosecute gun cases, so among terrorists, too, so i've got some background in this. but when someone purchases a firearm, there is a background check run on them, and the fbi is notified. and the fbi will note this person is on a watch list or no-fly list, and they factor that in. and if there's some reason under the current law to prevent the purchase, they do. this is a very complicated issue because sometimes people are put on the watch list just based on suspicion. and you're talking about denying of a fundamental constitutional right based on that. if there's insufficient evidence to issue a warrant for their arrest, to me, there's not enough evidence to deny a basic
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second amendment constitutional right. having said that, make no mistake, if the fbi sees somebody on one of these lists and they can't under the current law, that purchase cannot be denied, they will be, obviously, monitored to prevent t any further potential terrorist attack from occurring. one bill that i'm a cosponsor of, a lot of these cases are either mental illness or they're isis related. i e no congressman tim -- i know congressman tim murphy has mental health legislation. martha mcsally has a bill that same my says if you have been adjudicated meant tally effective, you cannot purchase a firearm. when i was up in new york a month ago after one of the shootings and they, you know, they have a training to deal with active shooters, there are
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so many of these cases that are not put into the system. prince, the navy yard shooter was, had been adjudicated mentally deficient or defective under the law and yet was able to purchase a firearm because his information was not put in the system. this bill, and senator cornyn has a companion in the senate, would provide funding to ramp up the process to make sure that anybody that has been found by a judge -- not just someone who goes to a doctor because they want counseling. you can see the fine line. if you get denied a second amendment right because you went to see counseling for an issue which there are probably people many this room that have done that -- in this room that have done that, the standard is an arbiter, a judge, who has declared that person to be mentally defective. and so the bill would enhance current law by making sure that anybody that's found by a judge to be mentally defective is put
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into the system. and i fully support that. i think we have time for one more, and then close it up. >> [inaudible] >> let's take these two at the end, and then. >> hi, congressman, thank you for being here today. as we expand our anti-isis -- [inaudible] domestically and internationally, how do you see us preventing this from becoming a christian versus muslim crusade? flush. -- >> well, i think that's a very good point. you probably have been to the region, as have i. we are the infidels. our presence at many times provokes it. bin laden looked at the infidel on muslim holy ground. so we have to be careful with that. i don't think we're going to put 100,000 u.s. combat, you know, into the region. but what i am calling for are
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special forces embedded with indigenous forces and having a strategy that can work and dealing with assad and having people that can guide the targets and not doing this zero collateral damage. 75% of our sorties return without firing their rockets. you know, we are dropping leaflets to the drivers of these oil tankers warning them in advance that we're going to strike 'em. i think be you're driving an -- if you're driving an oil tanker, you're not really a civilian. you're working more isis. for isis. and i think changing the rules of engagement would go a long ways. we haven't dealt with the terrorist financing. they're making a million dollars a day with the oil in eastern syria, and they're taking it into turkey, and we've done nothing to stop that. now just recently we've started
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to start to take out those targets, but the idea we have to send a leaflet warning in advance is not, in my judgment -- you're either all in or you're not. i think the powell doctrine still applies. but i think we have to be very careful with the religious rhetoric and not fall into the trap. that's why i've always said that it's incumbent upon the sunni-arab nations to stand up. we've carried their water for too long, and it's imperative for them to stand up. it's their backyard, and they need to, they need to protect their own religion from the perversion that's taking place by isis. and they're allowing 50,000 isis to dictate a worldwide religion. and it's incumbent upon them, i think, to deal with this as well. and they have a lot -- they need to have a lot more skin in the game, if you will, than they currently do. because i think they have a lot
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more at stake than anybody. but i do think you're right, i think we have to be careful about this rhetoric, and, you know, people in my business are guilty of doing that. and i think that just enflames and provokes it even more. you look at president bush, i thought, tried to handle that pretty well. he didn't, you know, we're not condemning all muslims, it's a perversion of their religion. he was very careful, i think, in his verbage and how he dealt with that issue. and i would say that some politicians out there are irresponsible in that rhetoric which just enflames it and enflames the conflict and gets further recruits for the movement of isis. there's a reason why they're pouring in from a hundred different nations right now. and they want us, they want the
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heavy combat presence there because they know they're going to get more recruits coming in. i mean, in fact, that's their goal. where was that last one? yeah. this is really the last one. [laughter] >> i'm hillary, and i work for -- [inaudible] just to go back to your quick point about the syrian refugees, the bell community has told -- intel community has told you that there have been people trying to come into the u.s. that are associated with isis. does that lead to the current vetting process then, and also, i mean, this morning secretary johnson said there's an incredibly thorough process for vetting these ref pew gees, and i know you've had the director of the fbi saying there's just things you can't know, it's not 100% risk-free. so what further steps would you advocate for? >> well, what we, i mean, i introduced this legislation not for my own edification or based
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upon my own thinking, i based it, i introduced it based upon testimony from the fbi director and, quite frankly, the is secretary of homeland security and the dni who all said that we can't, we don't have a proper vetting system in place, that we don't know who these people are, that we don't have systems in place, that we don't have intelligence, that we don't have proper databases to vet them. and all we're saying is just like the iraqi refugees, we put a hold on it for six months until we could get a system right, we are calling for more robust vetting process and assurances from them that they can vet them. and, most significantly, hold them responsible and accountable by having the three sign and certify that they're not a risk to national security. that would be secretary of homeland security, the fbi director and the director of national intelligence. it's amazing how maybe some have
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backed off what they testified to, but i can pull transcripts, as you know. your boss -- and it's real. and i think the american people want and deserve this. i think it's why you saw 50 -- there would have been 100 democrats joining us if ms. pelosi hadn't whipped so hard against it. but we had almost 50 democrats, and part of it was because the presentation before their conference was not persuasive. i mean, they asked the secretary, why won't you sign off, you know? and the answer was, well, it's a lot of paperwork and staff, and it's not workable situation. i think you're dealing with a very unique population here, and we're not talking about all refugees, we're talking about a very unique population. isis' headquarters are in raqqa, syria. we know isis has said in their own words that they want to exploit it to infiltrate west. we have intelligence now, recently, indicating they want
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to exploit to come into the united states. and i think in light of all that it's the responsible thing to do. we're not -- this legislation could have been a lot more draconian. it was very measured, very well balanced which is why i think that's why we made it bipartisan and got a super majority to withstand a veto, because it just makes common sense. and the american people want to make sure we can commonly vet them before we bring them in. obviously, the mothers and children are going to be able to get through a vetting process. but the military-age male has to go through a more robust vetting before we bring him into the united states. i don't want that on my head, bringing someone in who conducts a terrorist attack like two of the iraqi refugees did. we just want to make sure we're doing this in a safe, responsible manner. we're a compassionate nation,
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humanitarian nation, but we also have a duty to our citizens to protect them and do this in the safest, most responsible way that we can. well, thanks so much for being here. appreciate it. ms. . [applause] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] >> tonight on "the communicators," terrorism and the use of social media. we'll examine how social media is used by various terrorism groups to radicalize and recruit new members from around the world. we're joined by alberto
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fernandez, vice president of the middle east media research institute, and mac wallace, ceo of the counterextremism project. both guests recently testified at a house oversight committee hearing on radicalization, social media and the rise of terrorism. >> we look at the world, if you look at the production of media worldwide, if you look at hollywood, if you look at madison avenue, there's no doubt that there's more of us than there are of them. but if you look at the narrow space where people are searching for this type of stuff in this type, this subworld, this subculture, so in this niche, they radically outnumber everyone else who's sending a different message, a kind of counterterrorism message. >> i think we ought to have a robust discussion in the united states that these companies have -- are now really on notice that their platforms are being abused. i think that they have to put policies and procedures in place, a lot of which we've proposed, that limit and deny
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the ability of terrorists to misuse these platforms. if they don't, i think we have to have a real, robust discussion at some point do these platforms, do they become material support for these terrorist groups? >> watch "the communicators" tonight at 8 p.m. eastern on c-span2. >> all persons having business before the honorable, the supreme court of the united states, are admonished to draw near and give their attention. >> tonight on c-span's "landmark cases," we'll look at the case of baker v. carr, the 1962 decision that ruled federal courts could intercede in disputes over reapportionment and the drawing of election districts. chief justice warren called it the most important case of his appointment t on the supreme court. >> these 11 tennessee voters live in five of the largest cities in tennessee. they are the intended and actual victims of a statutory scheme
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which devalues, reduces their right to vote to about one-twentieth of the value of the vote given to certain rural residents. >> by the early 20th century, population shifts in states like tennessee had a majority of voters from rural areas move into the city. yet those rural districts, with now smaller populations, held voting power equal to the larger urban districts. so a group of voters from nashville, memphis and knoxville challenged the disparity and took their case all the way to the supreme court. the case became a major milestone in supreme court activism and has continuing relevance today as the term "one person, one vote" is still being debated. joining us in the discussion, theodore olson, former u.s. solicitor general, and douglas smith, author of "on democracy's doorstep: the inside story of how the supreme court brought one person, one vote to the united states." that's live tonight at nine
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eastern on c-span, c-span3 and c-span radio. for background on each case while you watch, order your copy of the companion week, available for $8.95 plus shipping at c-span.org/landmarkcases. ♪ ♪ >> the senate gavels in in about 25 minutes, at 2 p.m. eastern, for general speeches and debate on a judicial nomination. later this week the chamber's expected to vote on an agreement with the house on a revised no child left behind measure, and they'll also need to pass a government spending measure with current funding set to to expire oven friday. and for more on this week's agenda, we spoke with a cap until hill reporter. -- capitol hill reporter. >> host: your recent story titled impasse continues as deadline looms. what are some of the key issues involved now in these spending bill discussions? >> guest: well, at this point it sounds like the money stuff has been pretty much worked out, and
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so during the last few days it's been riders that have been kicked up to the leadership level, and democrats were very unhappy, they said, to see almost all the things were back on the table, some of them they knew were going to be there, some of them they didn't expect. but some of the issues include reproductive rights, the treatment of syrian refugees, environmental riders, things to go after obama administration regulations dealing with clean air and water. those are some of them. also maybe something on campaign finance, lifting some of the restrictions on political contributions. that's something that senate majority leader mitch mcconnell has supposedly proposed. and also some changes to the dodd-frank law that was passed a few years back to try to rein in the banks. that's just the tip of the iceberg. >> host: some are saying that
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this is a first big test for speaker paul ryan. how involved in the negotiations has the speaker been? >> guest: well, i think he's been pretty involved in the talks that happened before the thanksgiving break with the house to freedom caucus, calling for listening sessions that appropriators were supposed to set up to to allow nonappropriation members to weigh many on the riders or -- in on the riders that they wanted to see attached to the bills, especially the bills that were not on the house floor this summer. the bills that they didn't have a chance to amend. so i think he's been very involved there and in steering the development and the discussions. and now at the leadership level, now that there are going to be finish they're going to be negotiating the riders, he and mcconnell have been very much involved in that. and yet the appropriators still say that they're very much involved in that also. >> host: what are the republican leaders saying about the possibility of another
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short-term funding measurethey can't get finish if they can't get this done by the deadline? >> guest: mitch mcconnell hasn't said anything about another short-term bill, and he's been consistent throughout the year that he did not want to miss this december 11th deadline. he's very serious about that. in the house, house majority mccarthy a couple of times in the last week has said, well, maybe, you know, we want to get it done by december 11, but if we need a couple more days, maybe we'd look at a short-term bill. the white house, which has said obama will not sign another c.r. for a number of weeks like we saw this fall, said, well, maybe one for one or two days, but that's all just to allow the political machinery to work. but they want them to wrap this up. and that would bring fiscal year 2016 appropriations bills to a close and then set the stage for appropriators to turn to next
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year's bills next february. >> good morning, all -- >> earlier today attorney general hover relate the that lynch announced a justice department investigation into the chicago police department. it's being conducted by the civil rights division and will look at issues due to the department's handling of misconduct. >> throughout the united states. every american expects and deserves the protection of law enforcement that is effective, that is responsive, that is respectful and, most importantly, constitutional. and each day, thanks to the tireless dedication of men and women who wear the badge, citizens from coast to coast receive just that. but when community members feel that they are not receiving that kind of policing, when they feel ignored, let down or mistreated by public safety officials, there are profound consequences for the well being of their communities. there are profound consequences for the rule of law and for the countless law enforcement
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officers who strive to fulfill their duties with professionalism and integrity. today i'm here to announce that the department of justice has owned an investigation into whether the chicago police department has engaged in a pattern or practice of violation of the constitution or federal law. specifically, we will examine a number of issues related to the chicago police department's use of force including its use of deadly force, racial, ethnic and other disparities in its use of force and its accountability mechanisms. such as its disciplinary actions and handling of allegations of misconduct. this investigation has been requested by a number of state and local officials and community leaders but has been opened only after a preliminary review and careful consideration of how the justice department best use our tools and our resources to meet chicago's needs. in the coming months, this investigation will be conducted by experienced career attorneys from the civil rights division
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with the assistance of the united states attorney's office for the northern district of illinois. they will conduct a thorough, impartial and independent review of the allegations, and the team will meet with a broad cross-section of community members, city officials and law enforcement command staff and officers to both explain our process and to hear from anyone who wishes to share information relevant to this investigation. we will examine with our experts policies, practices and data. and at the end of our investigation, we will issue a report of our findings. and if we discover unconstitutional patterns or practices, the department of justice will announce them publicly, we will seek a court-enforceable agreement with the chicago police department and work with the city to implement appropriate reforms. our goal in this investigation, as in all of our pattern-of-practice investigations, is not to focus on individuals, but to improve systems to insure that officers
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are being provided with the tools that they need including training, policy guidance and equipment to be more effective to partner with civilians and to strengthen public safety. we understand that the same systems that have failed community members also fail conscientious officers by creating mistrust between law enforcement and the citizens that we are sworn to serve and protect. this mistrust from members of the community makes it more difficult to gain help with investigations, to encourage the victims and the witnesses of crime to speak up and to fulfill the most basic responsibilities of public safety officials. and when suspicion and hostility is allowed to fester, it can erupt into unrest. building trust between law enforcement officers in the communities that we serve and one of my highest priorities as attorney general. the department of justice intends to do everything that we can to foster those bonds and to create safer and fairer communities across the country. and regardless of the ultimate
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findings of this investigation, we will seek to work with local officials, with residents and law enforcement officers alike to insure that the people of chicago have the world class m.d. that they -- police department that they deserve. thank you so much, and at time i'm happy to take a few questions. >> should the investigation expand to the cook county -- [inaudible] >> our investigation is focused on use of force and the accountability within the police department. we'll be looking at how force, including deadly force, is handled, investigated and how officers are held accountable for that. so that's our focus right now. >> madam attorney general, could you please tell us -- [inaudible] "chicago sun-times". and maybe the u.s. attorney wants to join in, we're very interested in the status of the joint -- federal investigation has taken quite a while and would like to know the reaction
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to the mcdonald video document release by the city, if you're aware of them and the potential of some people are wondering if you're also going to be looking into a cover-up. but two questions there, if you could take them, i'd appreciate it. >> okay. with respect to the investigation into the death of many laquan mcdonald -- will yes. >> as has been announced earlier, that investigation is ongoing. it is being conducted by the u.s. attorney's office for the northern district of -- >> [inaudible] >> and as all of our investigations into whether or not there's been a civil rights violation, particularly when this is been a death resulting from police interaction, those investigations are thorough, they are independent, they are impartial. we review the relevant federal statutes which are, of course, a different set of statutes from what the state's attorney has at their disposal, and we are thorough and efficient. we don't predict the timing of any of those investigations, so
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i'm not able to give you that particular answer. >> and what about the documents that came out that talk about how the police can account of what happens is different from what the video shows? [inaudible] >> what i can tell you is that all the information will be factored into the federal investigation. we don't comment on the evidence while that investigation is ongoing for obvious reasons, ball of that information is factored into that, and i'm not able to give you any more comments at -- >> a question -- i'm sorry. >> i was curious about chicago is one of the largest police departments in the country, how does the size affect the ability to find pervasive civil rights abuses? i imagine you're going to find bad apple, but you're also going to find plenty of upstanding, good police officers. ten times bigger than ferguson, so i'm just curious how much that complicates your efforts. >> i think it's important to note particularly when we focus on the systems involving use of
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force, deadly force and accountability, what we are looking at to see is how does the chicago police department track and treat those types of actions. so a lot of the review that we do is of the systems of the chicago police department. and, of course, that will entail a review of how they've handled specific matters. but what we are looking at is to to see whether or not the police department as a systemic matter has engaged in constitutional violations of policing. this involves the review, as you note, of a host of evidence. but because this case will be worked in conjunction with civil rights division and the u.s. attorney's office of the northern district of illinois, we feel confident that we'll be able to cover that. and this gentleman had a question. >> evidence in this case found its way into the corporation council in the city of chicago. will city hall, will officials at city hall be part of this review? and secondly, a question to mr.-- [inaudible] will you be considering obstruction of justice charges
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against any police officer who may have been on the scene that night? >> with respect to your first question, then i'll turn to the u.s. attorney for the scope of his investigation, with respect to your first question, what we will be looking at, again, is the chicago police department's method and manner of dealing with use of force, particularly deadly force, and whether or not we find racial, ethnic and other disparities in how they handle those force allegations. it will encompass a number of things including how officers are disciplined and the disciplinary systems. we will be working with city officials, but the matters that you're talking about seem to relate to a different issue. what i will say is that we will take information from all interested parties. we are particularly interested in hearing from community groups and community members, we are particularly interested in hearing from the rank and file police department and, obviously, we do have contact with city hall as we do this investigation. but our investigation is
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independent. it is not tied to either the findings or the actions of other entities. and with respect to your second question, i believe you had a question about the specific mcdonald investigation. >> consider obstruction of justice charges, possibly, against other officers in the chicago police department? >> so at this point in time we're not predicting what charges, if any -- >> he can't speak? >> i'll let him speak, but i will tell you as a general matter when we have an open investigation, we do not discuss what specific charges may be brought until the resolution of that investigation. >> what she said. [laughter] i will -- thank you, attorney general. i will only add that i do think it's important as the attorney general is explaining to understand that the pattern and practice of the investigation that is being launched today, which is very important and positive, i think, for the city of chicago -- >> [inaudible] >> i do understand, if -- >> [inaudible] people that live in the greater
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chicagoland region are concerned about that given recent reports that there are differing versions of what happened out there, and they don't seem to jibe, if you will, with what we see on the video. >> i completely understand your question. i do think it's important to recognize that today's pattern and practice investigation and the launch of this investigation is related to but separable from what you're asking about which is the laquan mcdonald incident. and we do not comment on pending investigations other than to reiterate what the attorney general has already said which is we do what we do independently, we do it with vigor. we look at all relevant aspects and options as we pursue a case, and it is not unique to this case the u.s. attorney's office in chicago has a great history of doing that and proving that it is both independent and appropriately aggressive when it comes to ferreting out criminal conduct. but i'm not going to comment on specifics as to this particular
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investigation. >> [inaudible] >> this is a question for both of you, if you will. part of the criticism of this case has been how long it's taken for any measure of justice to be taken as a result of what happened in that incident. my understanding is that the video, the big piece of evidence, the video was turned over to federal authorities nine days after it happened. can you confirm that, and can you tell us, you know, what's taken this long? in the investigation? >> i'm not going to speak to timelines specifically what evidence we received and when we received it during the course of the investigation. what i will say is that we have pursued all of the facts and circumstances relevant to mr. mcdonald's death on october 20, 2014, with vigor, with earnestness, with passion as we approach any important investigative matter in chicago. >> thank you. i wanted to ask whether the investigation would also include
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the allegations of unlawful detention -- [inaudible] and if not, why is this not seen as part of the pattern of misconduct investigation? >> at this point many time the investigation is focusing on use of force and the systems within the chicago police department. that's not -- the issues that you raise are extremely important. they're not at this time within the purview of our investigation. but as we have notified the city as with every pattern of practice investigation, that we always reserve the right to expand it should more information come to light and require a review of constitutional issues there as well. but at this point in time it is a use of force investigation. young lady in front of you. >> i have an off-topic question. yesterday the president talked about urging muslim leaders to step up their efforts to stop radicalization in their communities. can you talk about is the justice department increasing its efforts in this area in terms of outreach, or are you changing any other policies or resource allocations in light of
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the attack? >> well, with respect to the engagement of the muslim community in dealing with the issue of home grown violence extremism -- violent extremism and the susceptibility particularly of young people to these messages from abroad that encourage them down the path of radicalization, i think the president was appropriately noting that this is a problem for all americans, and every community has a stake in dealing with this issue. and that where people may be closest to a situation, they have a responsibility as well to try and intervene. we are always reviewing our efforts at countering extremism, not just the department of justice, but the department of homeland security, every united states attorneys' office is involved in outreach to arab and muslim communities, and we're always looking to improve not only our relationship with those communities, but how those communities can be empowered to deal with this issue as well. one of things that i always talk about when i meet with parents of variety of communities is to ask them if they know what their children are doing online.
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and as many of you will doubtless agree, it is difficult to get a handle on that. there's a number of areas in which we think the muslim-american community can be effective and proactive in helping resolve these issues. >> [inaudible] you talked about building trust between communities. can you tell us what the status of the eric garner investigation, and are you close to closing that with no charges? >> what i can tell you is that investigation is also still active and ongoing. it is open, so i'm not able to comment on the specifics of that, and when we come to resolution, we will announce the resolution there. so i'm not able to give you a comment on that case specifically except to say that it is being conducted by the u.s. attorney's office for the eastern district of new york, an office with which i have some passing familiarity. and that investigation also is independent t, it is impartial, it is thorough, and it is reviewing all the relevant
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issues in that case. >> just yesterday on eve of your news conference this morning the head of the illinois police review authority resigned. obviously, the accountability mechanisms in the state are part of your review process. can you talk a little bit about how important it is to have a functioning discipline system for police who do fall off the path? >> well, i don't have any comment on the personnel actions that may have been taken with regard to any board at this time. what i can say is that whenever we have an investigation particularly into use of force and accountability, that the issues of how a police department not only tracks, but resolves and disciplines for those uses of force is a key element of that. it's one of the many, many things that we'll be looking at and reviewing. but also i don't want to make it seem as if we're limited simply to looking at chicago's systems because, of course, we need to hear from community members,
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from residents who have experienced situations where they feel the use of force was not dealt with appropriately. and so we compare those to how it's handled internally. the investigation covers a host of issues. i don't want to make it seem as if we're looking only at chicago's systems, because it's very, very important that we hear also from community members. it's also important that we hear from rank and file police officers about their perceptions of their training, of how use of force is handled from their perspective as well. >> question for -- [inaudible] based on your experience, you're lawyer experience -- your lawyer experience, what would you expect the timeline to be? chicago? are we talking months or years? >> speak to that? >> sure. so as you know, probably, that we are unable to give any specific timeline. all we are able to say is that the department will be conducting this review in a very
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thorough manner and will not leave any stone unturned, and we look forward to working with everyone who has a staas a stake chicago police department. >> attorney general? as a sort of follow-up to that, with the department -- how far back does a review like this look? you know, is it three years? ten years? how do you determine whether a police department as big as chicago has a pattern or practice of -- >> well, you know, it's hard to say at this point how far back we'll go simply because we have yet to begin. but we look at, for example, civilian complaints, we look at trends in civilian complaints, we look at trends in accountability and trends in discipline. and so we may start with one perspective, and it could very easily expand into a longer time frame. so at point i'm not going to cabin the time period of the review of the procedures and things that have been occurring. this gentleman's not asked -- >> just to follow up on that,
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and then i've got another question. i think in the cleveland police investigation it went for 31 months. that would, obviously -- 21 months, that would obviously take a path of tenure, are you confident that the chicago pat, and practice review will be completed on your tenure? and then my main question is about the terrorism investigation. you mentioned in your interview on nbc that you were not sure what ideology motivated this attack. but then we have the president give a big oval office address talking about how we're going to step up our fight against isil and talking about this attack in some detail. >> we're going to leave the last few minutes of this briefing from earlier today and take you live now to the u.s. senate where members opened the day with general speeches before turning to debates on a judicial nomination for the eastern district of tennessee. a vote on that nominee takes place at 5:30 p.m. eastern. and we expect a short day in the senate as several members will be heading to the white house later this evening for the annual congressional holiday
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ball. live now to the floor of the u.s. senate here on c-span2. the president pro tempore: the senate will come to order. the chaplain dr. barry black will lead the senate in prayer. the chaplain: let us pray. eternal god, the protector of our dreams, we praise your righteous name. lord, december 7 reminds us
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of a season of infamy. at that time our nation confronted greater challenges than we face today. remind our senators and nation that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. may our lawmakers not repeat past mistakes, always remembering that eternal vigilance is freedom's price. help us to remember that we will be buffeted by winds of fear only when we forget how you have protected us in the past.
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if your power prevailed in our past, it can still conquer all our present and future dangers, toils and snares. may we never forget that in everything you are working for the good of those who love you. we pray in your merciful name. amen. the president pro tempore: please join me in reciting the pledge of allegiance to our flag. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
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mr. reid: mr. president? the presiding officer: the democratic leader. mr. reid: i've heard reports that the speaker has announced that congress will be in session next week. i don't know if that's valid. i haven't heard from him myself. but the december 11 deadline was a deadline that the republicans set. we didn't. if the congress fails to finish our business by december 11, it will be because republicans continue to insist on extraneous poison pill riders in the
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government funding bill. these are republican riders, republicans earmarks. as long as they are there, there can be no legislation. without legislation, the government shuts down again as it did a couple years ago because of republicans. last night, president obama spoke in stark terms about the threat terrorism poses to the united states. he detailed the extraordinary efforts our government is taking to protect americans. he also outlined a strong plan for continuing to combat terrorism at home and abroad. and president obama is right to say the first thing congress should do is close the loophole that lets f.b.i. terrorist suspects buy assault weapons like those used in the san bernadino shooting. senate democrats support president obama's plan to fight isis and protect america.
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mr. president, president obama has made clear democrats do not believe we should put thousands of troops on the ground in the middle of another civil war in the middle east. but we do support the president's strategy of continuing to go after isis in the air with our coalition partners targeting their leadership, oil infrastructure and heavy weapons. we know that it must be local forces on the ground who ultimately fight for and hold their ground. because, you see, it's their land. senate democrats understand that the civil war only will be resolved diplomatically, with all parties supporting the removal of assad. we also know that we can do more to address the threats from terrorists. that's why beginning today, senate democrats will unveil a series of proposals to take the fight to isis while enhancing the protection of americans here at home. here are a few important steps we must take in order to combat isis terrorism.
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the democrat plan would create a new isis czar, one person who is fully empowered and unifies the federal government's efforts in fighting isis. we did it with ebay, we certainly can -- with ebola, we certainly can do it with the scourge that is facing this country, isis. i'm pleased that president obama has taken a first step in that direction. continued continuing to target air strikes, strongholds and increased air support for anti-isis local fighters on the ground is part of our plan. we also must cut off isis money through new sanctions. isis runs its reign of terror in iraq and syria through extortion. oil sales and theft. senate democrats, our legislation imposes new sanctions and they are tough, including a cutoff of the united states international financial system if people knowingly facilitate financial transactions with isis. one thing that would help.
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we have a person who has been waiting for hundreds of days to be confirmed. what is his job? he works with the treasury department, with the state department to stop the financing of terrorism. the republicans for reasons that totally are not understood by anyone are blocking our voting on this person. the job is vacant. we also believe that we should improve intelligence sharing between the united states and our allies in the fight against isis. some of that has already started, of course. we believe that we must screen and support migrants in europe and the middle east. europe is facing an unprecedented number of migrants fighting on their -- landing on their shores. almost a million this year. their screening systems have been overwhelmed by the large number of migrants. our bill would respond to the europeans' request to provide them with technical assistance to screen migrants and improve their own border security and our security as well. in the middle east, democrats
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will help jordan, a strong u.s. ally on the forefront of the migrant crisis. four million people are displaced in the region, creating instability inside jordan, our ally, and also harming the neighboring countries. democrats' legislation includes a new stabilization fund for jordan and lebanon, helping those fleeing the conflict in syria stay in the region closer to home. these are just a few of the components of our plan to degrade and destroy isis. we're equally committed to thwarting terrorism here at home. the democratic plan would close the terrorist gun loophole. as of today, there is a legal low loophole that prevents law enforcement from verifying that potential gun buyers are not f.b.i. terror suspects. that means if a person has pledged allegiance to isis online and is barred from flying due to the threat they pose, that man or woman can still walk
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in any gun shop and purchase weapons and ammunition. they can do that today right now. that's wrong. last thursday, democrats tried to pass legislation to give law enforcement the tools needed to prevent the sale of guns to suspected terrorists. republicans blocked our commonsense measure. we're not finished from bringing this vote to the floor as often as we can. that's the way it should be. we need to strengthen the visa waiver program. it was amazing to see the republicans running for president waffle and weasel out of why someone has on a flight risk status, somebody who can't fly, why they should be able to buy a gun. it was interesting to see in the sunday shows the republicans waffle and weasel through answers on this. we need to strengthen the visa waiver program so isis fighters can't access the program and
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travel to our country. this includes recurring visa waiver travelers to use machine-readable passports, requiring information-sharing with visa waiver countries and requiring visa waiver countries to enter into agreements to comply with u.s. aviation and airport security standards. we must improve aviation security. we must work to secure our airports. we saw all the news when isis brought down a russian plane with hundreds of passengers aboard. a recent report from the homeland security inspector found that 73 workers with access to secure areas in airports had links to terrorism. stunning. our legislation authorizes new vetting for aviation workers and new security measures for the most important areas of our airports. we must lock down radiological materials to stop a dirty bomb. with both isis and al qaeda saying they want to get their hands on weapons of mass destruction, it's disturbing that there are 2,300 sites
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around the united states with radiological material. our legislation requires a new plan for locking down those materials to places where they are held, like universities and hospitals, so we can reduce the threat of a dirty bomb. our legislation is concerned and we're going to do everything we can to put an end to home-grown terrorists by creating an office within the department of homeland security tasked with that alone, countering extremism. we must address encryption by directing the national academy of sciences, the intelligence community and the private sector to work and identify new encryption technology and how it's used to make sure that our national security needs and technology policies are not working across purposes. and finally, mr. president, senate democrats are proposing legislation to provide law enforcement with grant money to help prepare for active shooter situations. we know how critical first responders are to containing and ending active shooter attacks. and so we should be sure they have all the tools necessary.
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this is the plan that we senate democrats are putting forward. it's comprehensive. it addresses international domestic concerns. the consequences of inaction are too grave for us to waste time seeking political gains. the security of our nation and the decimation of isis depends on the steps we take now. so i hope republicans will join us to implement these logical reforms and place the security of americans first and reduce the threat of isis around the world. mr. president, i see no one here wanting to speak, so will you announce the program for the rest of the day? the presiding officer: under the previous order, the leadership time is reserved. under the previous order, the senate will be in a period of morning business with senators permitted to speak therein for up to ten minutes each. mr. reid: i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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quorum call:
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mr. peters: mr. president, i ask that the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. peters: thank you, mr. president. i rise today to applaud the tremendous work that has been done over the course of this year to pass a bipartisan five-year $305 billion highway bill, the fixing america's surface transportation act, known as the fast act. transportation infrastructure is an essential part of the united states economy. it serves as a foundation to
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support our country's economic global competitiveness and connects communities, people, and markets. federal investment into transportation and other infrastructure has unfortunately lagged in recent decades, with public expenditures on infrastructure as a percentage of g.d.p. steadily declining to its lowest levels in 20 years. i have consistently called for a highway bill that ensures steady and reliable funding for states so they can make the long strm -- long-term plans for improving our crumbling infrastructure. for too long standpoint gap measures have failed to provide the stability necessary to grow our economy. the fast act comes at a critical time. this legislation will improve our nation's infrastructure, make our federal surface transportation programs work better for states, and address our nation's infrastructure priorities by focusing on
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critical commerce corridors and emerging freight corridors as well. the fast act also makes key investments in something that i'm very passionate about, and that's the future mobility of the united states. today the auto dry is working hand in hand with tech, telecom, and software companies and their partners in academia and federal agencies to collaborate and contribute to the transportation system of the future. this future will be dominated by connected and autonomous vehicles, on-demand services like ride-sharing and car-sharing, and innovations in vehicle-to-infrastructure communications. vehicle-to-infrastructure communications technology, known as v-2 df i, have the poe tfntion to deliver incredible safety and operational benefits to the driving public. for example, v-2-i technologies wilwill allow bridges that are
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icing up the ability to communicate directly with an auto mobile. stakeholders today are working to develop and test v-2-i technologies and widespread deployment is expected in the coming years. but we have to make sure that the states are making plans for this future and are prepared to deploy and maintain v-2-i technologies. that is why i introduced legislation earlier this year with senator stabenow and blunt that promotes inveevment promoty authorizing states to use existing surface and highway transportation funds to invest in v-2-i projects as they upgrade their highway infrastructure. it's called the vehicle-to-infrastructure safety technology investment flexibility act of 2015, and today i'm proud to say that that legislation was passed as part of the fast act. my vehicle-to-infrastructure
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provision and the broader bill's major investments in research and development represent the type of forward-thinking policy-maker -- policy-making that congress should be focused on. by committing now to help usher in the future of mobility and providing the funding and time to execute these programs, we have the ability to transform our society for the better. the fast act also contains several provisions to improve rail safety in the united states. i am pleased the legislation that i authored in the wake of the devastating amtrak number 188 crash earlier this year in philadelphia that unfortunately took the lives of eight peopled and injured over 200 was included in the fast act. my provision requires the department of transportation, amtrak, and the national transportation safety board to conduct a post accident assessment of the amtrak 188 crash to determine if amtrak followed its emergency
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preparedness and family assistance reform plans and determine how these plans can be improved in the future. final you will the fast act reauthorizes the export-import bank. since the beginning of jucialg the jobs sported by the ex-im bank have been unnecessarily jeopardized. the ex-im bank helps level the playing field for american companies in a tough global market. last year it supported more than $27.4 billion in u.s. exports and 164,000 jobs. more than $10 billion of that total, nearly 40%, represented exports by small businesses. 90% of its overall transactions directly supported small businesses including many that serve as suppliers for large companies. in michigan, for example, the ex-im bank has supported 229 exporter businesses selling $11 billion worth of goods to places
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like saudi arabia, mexico, and canada. this support is particularly important for our manufacturing industry and the majority of michigan exporters using ex-im bank are manufacturers of motor vehicles and parts shall machinery and chemicals, basically the backbone of michigan's economy. i'm proud to see that with the fast act's passage, we can get back to the business of doing what makes sense for the economy and for jobs in america. mr. president, i yield the floor. mr. nelson: mr. president?
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the presiding officer: the senator from florida. mr. nelson: let me say, while my colleague from michigan is here, we appreciate so much his participation in the commerce committee and especially the expertise that he brings to the table with regard to all things automotive, since his state in fact is the automotive state. and he is a valued member of our commerce committee. i thank the senator from michigan. mr. president, americans are understandably frightened by the terrorist attacks in paris and san bernardino, and as we mourn the loss of the victims, our hearts go out to their friends and families.
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we were shocked 14 years ago on september 11 when foreign terrorists struck our homelan homelandment for thhomeland.forg oceans did not protect us from foreign terrorists. now we know that we have to be prepared to meet the threat, not only abroad but here at home. and first it means that we have to see the threat clearly. it doesn't just come from shadowy foreign terrorist groups like isis or al qaeda. but now we see that it comes from a lone wolf or wolves who are individuals that get
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radicalized. we've seen that in the case at fort hood, we've seen it in other cases, we saw it in the case that was averted in times square from someone who had come all the way across the country from denver. they're extremely hard to detect and, of course, isis uses the internet to spread its propaganda, its influence, and to try to inspire disaffected young people with its propaganda far beyond where isis is located over in the middle east. and that means that we've got to use all the tools at our disposal to collect actionable intelligence, harden our defenses, counter radicalizati
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radicalization, counter propaganda, and stiffen our resolve. now, we ought to ensure that terrorists can't exploit the visa waiver program with 38 countries that we share this visa waiver. we ought to ensure that our law enforcement and intelligence agencies have the access that they need to the terrorists telephone and electronic communications to disrupt the attacks. and that's a big order, all the while protecting americans' privacy and constitutional rights. that's why this senator thinks it was a mistake to change the previous law as we did earlier
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this year, to change that law which allowed telecom business bulk records to be readily accessed to traced terrorist communications. we've done this. we do not have the ready access of those bulk business records, and again i remind our listeners we're not talking about the contents of communications, telephone calls or content of internet messages. we're talking about the bulk records which are business records that such and such a number or such and such an i.p. address on such and such a date
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transmitted a message to another number or another i.p. address. in the past through a court order, those bulk records would be held by the n.s.a. granting ready access so that if we were trying to stop a terrorist by getting intel head of time, we could go back and see where those communications were and with whom and how many hops it had gone in order to try to break up the terrorist activity. the problem with the lone wolf is that if they are really disguising their operations, they're not communicating with anybody. that's why it makes it so much more difficult to intercept the lone wolf who has been inspired
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by isis. just recently, we saw that isis has claimed the responsibility for the bombing of a russian airliner over egypt. and it reminds us that our planes and airports remain a target for terror attack, and that's why i am introducing and will explain tomorrow legislation to tighten internal security at airports across the country. we've had some good examples of that a year ago in atlanta. unbelievably for several months, guns were brought into the atlanta airport by airport workers, were transferred to a passenger that had already gone
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through security, t.s.a. security, and they were actually transported over a number of months from atlanta to new york. it was the lack of security on the perimeter of allowing workers into the airport proper that needs to be tightened up at all of our 300 airports. two have already done that over the last several years, and i am very proud of the miami airport and the orlando airport that they have done it and done it very successfully. because isis exploits war in syria and the instability and sectarian conflict in iraq meeting the terrorist threat means the use of military force
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as well, and our forces are with the help of our coalition partners as we speak striking isis from the air and training local forces to fight isis on the ground. we're intensifying air strikes against isis leadership, against heavy weapons, against all tankers and oil wells, and have recently deployed u.s. special operations forces to help local forces build the necessary battlefield momentum to take back territory. special operations forces will be central to the fight in order to avoid the large-scale deployment of u.s. ground forces. these forces are trained to conduct surgical strikes against
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terrorist leaders. there are press reports that general joe votel, the current commander of the u.s. special operations command in the next year will almost the next commander of central command, responsible for operations against isis. he already worked side by side with general austin, the commander of the u.s. central command in tampa at macdill air force base, and he would bring tremendous experience to the job. the congress is not doing our job. we should authorize the use of military force. it's our responsibility. i believe that the president has the authority to fight isis in iraq or syria or wherever, but
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the unity of the congress backing the president in law is constitutionally required. we ought to debate these proposals and vote. the authorization would show the world that the united states is united in defeating isis. the military fight is one piece of a broader effort to destroy isis and bring about a political transition in syria to a government, a government that finally bashar assad will have to have finally left. that is critical to ending the war and ending the resulting
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humanitarian crisis and of course stemming the flow of the refugees. our efforts will take time and commitment, but they are clearly necessary to protect our national security. now, mr. president, this is going to be a long, hard war. we can't do it overnight. there has been success in the war effort. we brought together 65 nations, 12,000 terrorist fighters have been killed, and we have shrunk the territory that isis occupies and has sanctuary in. and i want to show the senate
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this map. it has been shown before, it is not classified, but all the area in green is what isis used to occupy, along with the area in orange. they are along the euphrates river. all of that area in green, isis occupied but no longer because of the coalition efforts. there has been success. someone needs to talk about that success. going forward, we're going to have to use more special operations troops. we're going to have to insist on our arab neighbors picking up the fight and doing the fighting
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on the ground, and we do not need to make the mistake of tens of thousands of americans on the ground because that plays right into isis' hands. because it looks like and isis would portray it as that it is the u.s. versus muslims. and, mr. president, we should treat muslims with respect here at home in america, treat them with the respect they deserve. don't overreact. otherwise, that plays to isis advantage of the image of americans. in other words, it's us versus them.
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we are accelerating the fight. we have more and more intense coalition partners. we have extensive intel sharing. we have an outreach to muslims about the truth of isis. and we insist our partners sharing their intel with us, and that includes on the visa waiver of those 38 nations. mr. president, fear at this time like san bernadino, fear is a natural response. it happens in times like this. but we cannot let fear get the best of us.
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we must overcome the fear and not let it compromise who we are as americans by us overreacting. we need to nail down a truth that our government has no greater obligation than to keep us safe, and, mr. president, i want to share with the senate where is the unity that we used to have? i know it's not in vogue to say the good old days, but i can tell you that when this senator was a young congressman, when it came to national security, partisanship stopped at the party's edge. -- stopped at the water's edge.
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so isn't it time to unify? isn't it the time to disagree without being disagreeable? ant it semi to think of ourselves as americans instead of partisans? isn't it time to remember that latin phrase that is up there above the president's desk -- e pluribus unum, out of many, one. it's time to come together. god breast -- god bless america. mr. president, i yield. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll.
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quorum call:
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quorum call:
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quorum call: